MLB: Where Did It All Go Wrong for the New York Mets?

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MLB: Where Did It All Go Wrong for the New York Mets?
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Obviously, we all know by now that the New York Mets have gone to the West Coast and failed to prove they are contenders.

On June 27, the Mets beat the Minnesota Twins behind Jon Niese on a Sunday at Citi Field. What's the relevance of that date? It's their recent high-water mark of the season, when they improved to 11 games over .500 with a record of 43-32.

Since then, they have lost 14 of 20, to drop to only three games over .500, with their current record being 49-46. The Mets were doing so well in the month of June.

They looked like legitimate contenders in the National League East, hanging with the Atlanta Braves and with the struggling Philadelphia Phillies.

In June, the Mets went 18-8. David Wright had the best month of his career, hitting over .400 while driving in 29 runs, earning him Player of the Month honors in the National League.

Now, the Mets have started their West Coast trip 1-6, and could easily be 0-7 if it wasn't for a bad call by home-plate umpire Phil Cuzzi in San Francisco.

So, where did it all go wrong?

The Mets were favorites in the NL Wild Card race and were looking like a playoff team. Their terrible stretch began in Puerto Rico on June 28. Since then, they are 6-14.

Could it have possibly been the trip to another country? No, that's just an excuse.

The real problem has been the fact that they were playing over their heads. At home, before their last home stand, the Mets were 28-12.

Eventually, records like that will even out, and it's begun to, with the Mets losing four of six on their last homestand to the Cincinnati Reds and Braves.

But more than pure numbers, the Mets happened to all be playing well at the same time during their magnificent stretch in late-May through late-June.

They were getting fantastic starting pitching, especially clutch performances out of Hisanori Takahashi who beat the Yankees and Phillies in May. 

On June 13, Mike Pelfrey was 9-1, with a 2.39 ERA. That day, when he beat the Baltimore Orioles, things started to unravel even in the victory. Pelfrey has never been the same since.

Takahashi is more a reliever, and has proven that with his numbers being so poor going through the lineup more than once.

They have had some consistencies.

Angel Pagan, when told he's an everyday player, has been maybe the most clutch hitter for the Mets. The Mets have gotten continued success out of knuckleballer R.A. Dickey and have gotten decent pitching out of Jon Niese.

But there are some things that aren't there that were back in April and May. Rod Barajas was carrying the Mets offense during the first two months, but the problem is, the back of his baseball card reads otherwise.

This season, Barajas is batting .226, exactly what he batted in 2009.

This season, Barajas is on pace to hit 20 home runs, whereas last season he hit 19. So, the Mets have gotten exactly what they expected out of Barajas. It's just that the bulk of his production came early and evened out late.

The key in all of that is that the Mets were being "carried" by him. Meaning he was partially the reason why they were succeeding offensively. When he faded, the guys who weren't hitting still didn't hit.

Jason Bay has been a bust so far. He never picked his teammates up after they picked him up.

On April 30, Jeff Francoeur was hitting .284, he hasn't hit higher than .275 since, and he has dipped as low as .212.

Now, as a result of losing playing time to Angel Pagan, and righfully so, he's demanding a trade. The Mets are 0-6 on this road trip when Francoeur hasn't played and Beltran has played.

Maybe the clubhouse has been deflated by their leader being benched. How will the clubhouse react now to him requesting a trade?

With guys like Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, and Luis Castillo all returning from injuries, how long will it take for them to get back in a groove?

At the start of this road trip, the Mets front office needed to trade for a starting pitcher. They, as always at the trade deadline, were defiant, and now it may not even matter anymore.

A lot was going right for this team all at once back in their better days of May and June.

Now, as we near August, the Mets are in trouble.

They aren't hitting a lick, scoring four or less runs in 12 straight games, and they are about to lose a leader in the clubhouse. Even if it is Jeff Francoeur's own fault as he's gone 5-for-44 in July.

Should the Mets make a trade for a starting pitcher, or should they concede to the fact they aren't good enough to contend?

We'll find out in the coming days before the trading deadline.

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