New York Mets Look to Get Back on Track Against First-Place Rays

By Kevin Van Pelt

After being in a three-way tie for first place in the N.L. East, the New York Mets have lost six of their last seven games to fall five games behind the Washington Nationals.

Now they will begin a three-game series against the A.L. East leading Tampa Bay Rays.

This series will be a good chance to see how the Mets stack up against one of the best teams in the league with their best pitchers going on the mound. The opening game will feature Chris Young who is only making his second start of the season, but looked sharp in his first appearance last week. If Young can pitch another great game against a good-hitting team, it will be a huge boost to the Mets rotation as they look to make a run towards the playoffs.

Games two and three will feature Johan Santana and R.A. Dickey who both have ERA’s under three. They will be going against the one-two punch of David Price and Jeremy Hellickson.

While the pitching will be tested against the Rays, the main concern for the Mets has to be their offense. They have been struggling as of late and can’t find a way to score. After the hot start by David Wright, he has slowed down as of late and it has shown. It was not expected of him to hit at a pace near .400 the entire season; however, with his performance going down some, it is just enough to slow down the team.

With that being said, it is not Wright who needs to pick up his game. He can’t be counted on to carry a team by himself. Daniel Murphy has been struggling lately while Ike Davis and Jason Bay continue to struggle. Three people who are supposed to be some of the best bats on the team are struggling which is a big problem for any Major League team.

Lucas Duda has been on a hot streak as of late but with his teammates having poor production it becomes obsolete. The Mets this season seem to be having a hard time getting all of their bats going at the same time. Their great starting pitching is what have kept games close, but with the worst bullpen in the Majors, it is hard for them to keep any lead.

This season is not lost for the Mets by any means, there is plenty of baseball left this season and for now they need to keep their heads above water while they strive to find consistency. With Davis and Bay looking no closer to coming out of their long slumps, production on offense will have to come from Wright, Murphy and Duda with the role players playing a bigger part for the team.

It is hard to say that there is a big series in the month of June, but if there ever was one, this series against the Rays would be it.


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