Widely expected to be one of the worst teams in baseball this year, the Mets have surprised many with a 46-40 record at the All-Star break, which is third in the NL East division and 4.5 games behind the division leading Nationals. The Mets are also just a half game behind the Reds and Braves for the NL Wild Card lead.
So far, the Mets have mostly been successful because of their starting rotation, which has been led by R.A. Dickey, who is arguably the best pitcher in the game today. Dickey leads the majors with 12 wins and has a 2.40 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP as well.
Johan Santana has made quite a comeback with a 3.24 ERA and a no-hitter this year, despite a 6-5 record. Jon Niese has had a solid 7-4 record and a 3.73 ERA. Dillon Gee was just placed on the disabled list while recovering from a blood clot, but he is 6-7 with a 4.10 ERA in what has been an inconsistent season from him. Finally, after Mike Pelfrey had Tommy John surgery, the Mets struggled to find a reliable fifth starter until Chris Young made his return in June. Young is 2-2 with a 3.41 ERA in six starts.
The Mets' offense has been led by All-Star third baseman and MVP candidate David Wright, who is batting .351 with 11 home runs, 59 RBI and a 1.004 OPS. He has basically carried the Mets' offense thus far into the season.
Rookie outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis got off to a fast start but has cooled off recently. Nonetheless, Nieuwenhuis has a .268 average, seven home runs and 25 RBI. The only other major surprise has been outfielder Scott Hairston, who has 12 home runs and 34 RBI, despite a .249 average. Few hitters this year have hit left-handed pitching better than him. Right fielder Lucas Duda has had a solid first half as well, with a .249 average, 12 home runs and 44 RBI.
On the other hand, some of the other Mets hitters have certainly underachieved. First baseman Ike Davis got off to a horrendous start and was batting below .200 until late June. Second baseman Daniel Murphy got off to a fast start but had a big slump of his own during most of June, which brought his average down to .295.
While shortstop Ruben Tejada got off to a great start, he missed almost two months on the disabled list. Center fielder Andres Torres missed some time after getting injured on Opening Day and has yet to hit well consistently this year. The same could be said of catcher Josh Thole, whose season got off to a good start before suffering a concussion in early May. Ever since returning from the disabled list, Thole has struggled at the plate.
The Mets' biggest weakness though by far has been their bullpen. Despite having 18 saves, Frank Francisco has been rather inconsistent at times and has an ERA at 4.97, which is not ideal for any closer. Jon Rauch and Ramon Ramirez have both pitched inconsistently as well and both will need to pitch better in the second half.
Bobby Parnell, though, has been one of the most durable relievers and is currently the closer while Francisco remains on the disabled list. He has a 2.83 ERA and two saves so far. The only other dependable reliever has been the veteran left-handed specialist, Tim Byrdak.
Overall, the Mets have had their ups and downs, both individually and as a team, but they are in a great position to make a run at their first postseason appearance since 2006.
Here are 10 bold predictions for the Mets' second half of the season.