Saturday, July 27, 2013

Do the Mets have a division run in them?

As of right now, the New York Mets sit at 46-55, a .455 W%, on July 27. That shocks no one. What is shocking is that they sit only one game back in the loss column behind both Washington and Philadelphia, which means that there's a technical possibility the Mets could reach second place in the NL East by the trading deadline. Is it really possible that New York could surge to a miracle playoff spot from an underachieving division? Why not?

Friday's first game in the Mets' doubleheader against the Nationals was by far the best baseball New York played all year. Juan Lagares proved himself as an everyday center fielder; Murphy, Wright, and yes even Ike Davis helped thump the Nationals 11-0, behind a stellar season debut by Jenrry Mejia. The Mets did all the little things right that game, which is rare for a ball club of their caliber. Things were looking bright and everyone in the clubhouse had reason to smile.

And then came game two.

With Matt Harvey on the mound, of course the Mets' offense took a vacation yet again, giving just one run in support to their running Cy Young Award candidate. While this should have sufficed as Harvey allowed 0ER over 8IP, Daniel Murphy committed an error that resulted in a Washington unearned run, and Matt Harvey exited the game excluded from a decision. Yet again. And in so very typical fashion, it was LaTroy Hawkins who couldn't keep Ryan Zimmerman in the ballpark in the ninth, giving Zimmerman nine career walk-off home runs.

So while Mets fans were fooled into believing a revitalized ball club with less Lucas Duda and more Eric Young Jr. might be able to put together some kind of miracle, Friday's game-night doubleheader was an important reminder as to what the Mets really are. All potential, no performance.

Yes, the Miracle Mets were 10 games back from first in August of 1969, so yes, anything is still mathematically possible. But I'm not buying it until I see another black cat.

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