Five Moves the New York Mets Must Make to Become Contenders

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Five Moves the New York Mets Must Make to Become Contenders

Former Mets first baseman and current television analyst Keith Hernandez has said a few times during the course of the season that a team is never as good as they look during a hot streak, and is never as bad as they seem to be during a cold streak.

Well, the Mets have seen both sides of the coin early in this young season, which leads me to believe that they'll end up, eventually, some place in the middle.

Right now, that middle seems to be the .500 mark, where the Mets are now hovering close to at 18-20, following a dismal four-game sweep at the hands of the Marlins down in Miami.

It's not exactly the way the Mets envisioned the first four games of an eight-game road trip against division foes happening. Plus, things won't be much better when they come home next weekend to host the Yankees and Phillies at Citi Field.

It seems like ages ago now that the Mets finished April on an eight-game tear, including a 9-1 homestand that saw them reach first place in an ultra-competitive NL East in which all five teams look like they're for real this year.

Yet, since that eight-game win streak in April, the calender has not been kind to the Mets, who are now 4-11 in the month of May. In fact, had the Mets not rallied for six runs in the eight inning against the Nationals last Tuesday, they could be staring at an eight-game losing streak right now.

But it's not as if the season is over. The season is not even one quarter of the way over yet. There is still time to try to fix this team and lift them back towards respectability.

One thing that shouldn't be overlooked is that, despite the 4-11 record in May, the Mets have played games decided by two runs or less in 12 of their last 13 games, which tells me a few things.

Primarily, it tells me that the offense doesn't quit, and they try to rally until the 27th out is recorded. We've seen them rally back from five, six, even seven runs down (with mixed results) and I love to see the fight and the never-say-die attitude. It's a refreshing change from last year when often they'd look dead after falling behind in the game.

In addition, it tells me that at some point, the breaks have got to start going the Mets' way. With so many close games decided by a few plays that go either way, at some point those breaks have to go the other way. It's not as if the opposing team is going to continue to make every diving catch and get every slow roller to bang off the third base bag for a base hit.

I still believe that the core talent on this team has so much potential that it hasn't fully realized yet, so today I'll look at five moves that the Mets should make to try to salvage this season, with the hopes of contending both now in 2010, and in the future.

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