5 New York Mets That Must Step Up for a Second-Half Run

Ryan GerbosiCorrespondent IIJuly 28, 2012

5 New York Mets That Must Step Up for a Second-Half Run

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    The Mets are playing their way out of playoff contention just as fast as they found themselves within reach of the postseason.

    New York is now 11.5 games behind Washington for first place in the National League East and are stuck in third behind Atlanta.

    The Mets can make a play at the wild card, but they are still 7.5 games behind the Braves for a shot at the postseason.

    For New York to make it to October, they will not only have to overcome their own shortcomings, but they will need some spectacular performances from key players. If a perfect storm of strong play and luck blows through Queens in the next month, the Mets could be in place to make a run at the playoffs.

    Here are a few players who will need to be at the top of their game for the Mets to even come close at the playoffs.

Jason Bay

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    The only word to describe Jason Bay's tenure in New York is disappointing.

    Bay came to the Mets with high expectations to be the premier power righty in the middle of the lineup. The vision the Mets had has never truly materialized, leaving the team in need of power from elsewhere in the lineup.

    Bay has the potential to play well in high pressure situations. In 2008, Bay hit nine homers with 47 RBIs down the stretch after being acquired by Boston from Pittsburgh.

    But since arriving in New York, a perpetual high pressure situation, Bay has been unable to find consistency as well as power and health.

    Bay is back with the team as of now and has again struggled. He is hitting just .170 with five homers through 32 games this season.

    Simply put, the Mets are paying Bay too much money for him to be a scrub outfielder. If the Mets are going to have any kind of success, they need a return on this investment.

Ike Davis

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    Ike Davis is not really in danger of losing his role with the organization as first baseman for the future, but he has played poor enough this year to warrant a look at his future development.

    Davis came into 2012 with a lot to prove. After a strong 2010 season that inspired hope in Mets fans for the future wave of upcoming talent, Davis spent most of 2011 on the disabled list.

    2012 has been mostly filled with downs with very few ups for Davis. The first baseman does have 17 home runs and needs only three more to make a career best, but his numbers have been mostly underwhelming.

    Davis is hitting only .207 with a .272 on-base percentage this season, numbers much lower than what he is capable of.

    For the Mets to succeed going forward, Davis needs to fix some of the small issues in his game to give the Mets a chance to win.

Matt Harvey

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    It might be a little unfair to say that a kid with just one start on his belt needs to step up. But if the Mets want a chance at the postseason, Matt Harvey needs to play out of his mind for the next two months.

    Harvey is next on a long list of promising pitchers that have come through the New York farm system. The former UNC Tar Heel made his Major League debut Thursday and gave the Mets a jolt of much-needed energy.

    Harvey was electric in his first win, fanning 11 over 5.1 innings.

    The Mets believe in Harvey enough to let him stay in the rotation for now. With injuries keeping both Johan Santana and Dillon Gee out of the dugout, Harvey will be asked to give a lot more than most rookie pitchers. 

David Wright

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    David Wright has been a top player in the National League all season, but the Mets still find themselves outside looking in to October.

    Wright began the season with an ongoing flirtation with .400, but soon leveled off to some quality numbers that were worthy of an all-star appearance.

    It's clear that Wright has been the best Met this season. He has been the catalyst for an offense that has needed a bit of a boost.

    For the Mets to contend, Wright will need to keep his quality play going and put the team on his back. As the leader and team's most valuable player, he will need to keep the team afloat for there to be any shot at October.

Chris Young

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    Chris Young needs to make an impact at the end of this season if he wants to continue his tenure with the Mets, and perhaps continue his time in the majors.

    With the injuries to Gee and Santana, Young becomes an integral part of a rotation that was at one point the brightest spot for this team.

    Young did not have high expectations coming in this season, signing a minor league deal before spring training. Still, having Young play the way he did earlier in his career would be a bonus for a struggling Mets team.

    Through nine starts, Young is only 2-4 with a 3.91 ERA. 

    Especially with newcomer Matt Harvey joining the team, Young's veteran leadership needs to come out for the Mets as an example of playing well at the right time. If he succeeds, Young could have a place to play for the next few seasons. If not, he very well could be looking for work this offseason.