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Why the Mets Need To Win This Series Against the Phillies

Andrew Jordan@@Andrew_JordanSenior Writer IMay 1, 2009

NEW YORK - APRIL 10:  Jose Reyes #7 of the New York Mets is safe at home in the twelth inning ahead of the tag from Chris Coste #27 of the Philadelphia Phillies on April 10, 2008 at Shea Stadium in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Starting tonight, the Mets are going into Philadelphia to take on their arch rivals, the Philadelphia Phillies, in a three-game series at Citizens Bank Park.

Currently, the Mets are 9-12, four-and-a-half games out of first place. The defending World Champion Phillies are 11-9, two games behind the division-leading Marlins.

Already in New York, the Mets fans have been on top of players like David Wright, who is already getting booed for his bad start. He is hitting .280, with one home run and eight RBI's through April.

Here are the reasons why the Mets need to win this series:

Reason 1: Being in Fourth Place

The Mets and their fans are furious with how this season has started. They expected to finish in first place and to run away with this division.

Instead, they are 9-12, and have been playing terrible baseball. Also, their new "strength" from last offseason—the bullpen—has recently have blown several games.

They need to gain games in the standings, and by getting a series win here, they will do just that.

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Reason 2: Offense

The Mets have had only 13 home runs so far and have stolen just 13 bases.

The home runs were expected to go down with the team's transition from Shea Stadium to Citi Field. But the stolen bases are inexcusable.

The Mets are usually among the league leaders in stolen bases, but leadoff man Jose Reyes, who is considered by many to be the fastest man in baseball, only has four bags to his name.

Luis Castillo and Daniel Murphy, who have been sharing the second spot in the order, have one combined stolen base.

Because of these liabilities, the Mets offense has been terrible and has to improve.

Reason 3: Starting Rotation

The Mets biggest question mark going into this season was their starting rotation.

They resigned Oliver Perez, one of the most inconsistent pitchers in baseball, during the offseason and John Maine and Mike Pelfrey have not pitched well since spring training.

Thus far, only staff ace Johan Santana has looked consistent, while Pelfrey has had shoulder tendinitis and Perez might lose his spot in the rotation. Maine and Livan Hernadez both have been okay.

The Mets are going to need a strong rotation this year if they want to win the NL East.

Reason 4: Fan Pride

Mets fans clearly know their players and how important they are for the team. But they have been on a roller coaster for the last several seasons, wathcing their team lose the division for the last two years in a row after leading it in September.

The Mets were only one hit away from going to the 2006 World Series, and with the recent September collapses, the fans have had to live through one giant nightmare after another.

Nothing would energize this fan base more than a thrashing of the Phillies in Philadelphia.

If the Mets recognize the reasons listed above when they play against the Phillies, they should be inspired and win this series. They need to have this series to energize the team, and if they don't, things could get really bad.

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