The Mets are in second place three months into the season and overachieving has been an understatement—what the team has done has been simply amazin'.
At 43-37, the Mets are just 3.5 games back from the Washington Nationals, and are looking like serious contenders in the 2012 season. All the things that could have happened right for the Mets, have happened. R.A. Dickey has become the ace of the team with a 12-1 record, while David Wright has had the hot stroke all season, batting .354, good for second in the National League.
With good news comes bad news however. Everything that was supposed to be a problem going into the season, has become a problem. The defense has struggled, committing 60 errors, third in the National League. The bullpen, a huge issue the past few years and again this year, owns the highest ERA in the National League at 4.98 while blowing 13 saves.
If the Mets want to keep their amazin' season alive past the All-Star break, they must improve their team by the deadline. They must become buyers before the trade deadline ends and fix the problems that prevent them from becoming the team they are capable of becoming.
Projected to be in the basement of the NL East, the Mets can't settle on the team they have now, and must go out and pursue players that are capable of helping their club reach the playoffs.
As mentioned earlier, the Mets' bullpen has been a concern for the team all season long, with the relievers struggling to hold leads late in ballgames.
It's astonishing how the Mets are in second place considering how awful the bullpen has been all season long. If the Mets hope to make the playoffs, having a strong bullpen is key. With a strong bullpen a team is able to make a push in September as well as win in the playoffs.
The Mets' current bullpen of Rauch, Ramirez, Parnell, Batista, Hefner and Byrdak is not strong enough to succeed going into the later months of the season. Seeing Ramirez, Hefner or Batista on the mound can make many Mets fans stress, as they struggle to record outs.
Owning the worst bullpen in the National League is a reason why the Mets must pursue some relievers before the trade deadline.
With a young roster, defense is always a challenge for team, but none like the Mets.
Defense is what wins games, and the Mets make it harder on themselves by playing mediocre defense.
The Mets must pursue strong defensive, back-up players. With them the Mets will be able to strengthen their defense late in the game to help out the Mets' bullpen. While better defense doesn't necessarily mean more wins, it will give the team a stronger chance of winning. Just look at the Tampa Bay Rays during the 2011 season. The team as a whole only committed 73 errors, best in the MLB and good for a playoff berth.
Stronger defense indirectly helps the pitching staff and is a reason why the Mets must pursue defensive minded players before the deadline.
The Mets already boast one of the better offenses in the National League, starters and back-ups, respectively.
Ike Davis seems to be back on track, and the bench is continuing its hot streak, led by Scott Hairston.
The Mets need to capitalize on their success, and adding more hitters to their team would not hurt one bit. Hitting a .258 average as a whole, the team can make improvements, and by picking up a few more hitters, the Mets will be a serious contender come September.