The 7 Biggest Reasons for the Mets' Second Half Struggles
The Mets' first half was commonly described as one word: overachieving. As a diehard fan, I didn't want to believe it but realistically, this is just what the "Amazins" do.
After a winning first half, the Mets are 7-17 since the All-Star break and all but mathematically eliminated from the NL East and wild-card races.
With so much going wrong, there are many people to point the finger at. But at some point, excuses need to stop being made and winning needs to occur. Here are the top seven biggest reasons why the Mets are failing in the second half.
David Wright Has Cooled Off
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Wright, who entered the All-Star break with an astonishing .351 average, hasn't seen anywhere near the same success in the second half. Hitting .233, Wright is experiencing more than a .100 point drop off, and striking out nearly twice as often.
While no one could possibly expect Wright to continue the maniacal pace he was on, he does need to step up and hit for a higher average if the Mets are going to get on track. Still, it's hard to blame a guy that will finish the season batting over .300 with over 20 home runs and 100 RBI.
RA Dickey's Knuckleball Just Isn't the Same
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Like Wright, Dickey simply started off too strong to continue the pace for the entire season. His ERA is nearly two full points higher in the second half and after beginning 12-1, Dickey is just 2-2 since the break.
He's still logging quality innings and giving the Mets a chance to win a majority of his starts, but there's undoubtedly a major difference between a Cy Young candidate and a solid starter. For the Mets to stand a chance, Dickey needs to get back to his All-Star form.
No Bullpen, No Closer, Many Problems
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After losing Frank Francisco to injury, the Mets became allergic to winning close games. It seemed like every close game went against them to begin the second half, which are the games a team needs to win to make the playoffs.
Now that Francisco is finally back, Tim Byrdak is done for the year. Although this year has not been nearly as bad as others, the Mets continue to get bit by the injury bug. Whether it's just a matter of bad luck or signing players that are injury prone, the Mets can't keep their big players healthy for a full campaign.
Jason Bay Is Killing the Lineup
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Has there ever been a worse contract in New York history? This guy seriously has Mets fans missing Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez.
In the rare moments when Jason Bay hasn't been hurt, the team probably wishes he was. He's hitting a miserable .157 and looks confused and uncomfortable at the plate. But due to his massive contract, the Mets will continue to give him chances even though he belongs in Double-A ball.
Lucas Duda Disappeared
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Part of his disappearing was due to getting back a healthy Jason Bay, but Duda, who was supposed to be in the middle of the order, is down in Triple-A.
He hit a respectable .249 with 12 home runs at the All-Star break, but his defense is atrocious, and in his brief stint in New York after the All-Star game, the best he could manage was a .111 batting average with no home runs or runs batted in.
Terry Collins Overplayed Lefty/Righty Matchups
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While there's definitely value to taking into consideration lefty/righty matchups, Terry Collins made a mockery of it. He was afraid to let his lefty hitters face lefty pitchers and if a righty is on the mound you better believe Scott Hairston is coming out of the game.
But there's one problem. How are these guys supposed to get better hitting same-side pitching if they never get to see it?
Let's face it, the Mets are an extreme long shot to reach the playoffs so let these guys see different pitching so you can have a consistent lineup next year. It's the only way they'll get better.
The Front Office Made Zero Moves at the Break
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Wilpon family? Sandy Alderson? Is anyone there?
You wouldn't think it after the Mets failed to make a single move at the trade deadline (unless you count Omar Quintanilla to Baltimore for cash considerations).
This is what makes fans furious.
The team is struggling. The bullpen is in shambles. The wild-card leaders are creating a huge gap between themselves and the Mets.
But nothing gets done. And until something gets done, the Mets won't get any better.
P.S. Quintanilla is killing it for Baltimore.