New York Mets: Horrid Homestand Brings Overachieving Team Back to Reality

Erick FernandezCorrespondent IIJuly 25, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 25: (L-R) Hitting coach Dave Hudgens, Scott Hairston #12, Kirk Nieuwenhuis #9 and Jonathon Niese #49 of the New York Mets look on in the ninth inning against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field on July 25, 2012 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Remember when the New York Mets were playing extremely well and were overachieving by many people's standards?

Yeah, neither do I.

After heading to the All-Star break six games over .500 with a 46-40 record, only 4.5 games back in the National League East division, the Mets seemed poised to contend for their first playoff appearance since 2006. But as the Mets have shown in the past five years, they do not have a strong enough team to compete for an entire season

Since their epic collapses in the Septembers of 2007 and 2008, the Mets have continued to struggle in the second halves of seasons.

The 2012 team decided to waste no time after the All-Star break to continue with the awful trend. 

Since the midsummer classic, the Mets are an abysmal 1-11. To add insult to injury, they are 1-8 against the Washington Nationals and the Atlanta Braves—the two teams that were ahead of them in the division. After today's loss to the Nationals, the Mets just finished their first winless homestand of six or more games since 2002.

What happened to this team and how have things gone awry so quickly?

The bullpen has absolutely imploded, the Mets bats have run out of magic and their starting pitching, which was the Mets' strong suit for the first half of the season, has also struggled mightily.

Granted, injuries, especially to their starting rotation, have played a major a role in their struggles. With Dillon Gee out for the season and Johan Santana on the disabled list, the Mets have had a tough time fixing the holes in their starting rotation—holes that manager Terry Collins could not fix.

The Mets' starters, along with the usual suspects, out of the bullpen have had an ERA of 6.14 since the All-Star break, which is just not going to cut it for any major league team.

The great season that had Mets fans optimistic is now a thing of the past. Things have gotten out of hand quickly in Flushing.

While fans may be irritated by the front office's passiveness, they probably had an idea that reality would hit and that this team was not actually strong enough to realistically compete.