The New York Mets are playing in their very own version of a Charles Dickens novel titled, “A Tale of Two Halves.” This second half of the 2012 Major League Baseball season is only three games old for the New York Mets, and very methodically they are playing themselves out of contention. With the help of poor defense and sloppy pitching, they have allowed the Atlanta Braves to not only take command of second place in the National League East, but the wild card as well.
Over the next two weeks, the Mets find themselves battling the likes of the Washington Nationals and the Los Angeles Dodgers for nine games which may just feel like an eternity. This stretch of games will undoubtedly determine whether or not the Mets will be buyers come July 31st at the trade deadline. The questions surrounding the Mets will include the opportunity to feasibly grab hold of the final wild card, as well as determining if they should unload some prospects for a faint glimmer of hope.
No matter the situation, the Mets should realize that this team, with or without some new additions is going to have a very different second half of 2012. Sooner or later, the magic of the two-out run is going to fade and the starting pitching is not going to be as reliable. Over the past four turns through the rotation, the Mets starters are nothing but average. John Niese has been the most reliable of them all and that leaves a sour taste in the mouths of fans. Gone are the days of back-to-back one hitters, a la R.A.Dickey, a magical no-hitter from Johann Santana, and solid, every fifth day outings from Chris Young.
Niese is the only starter with a sub .500 ERA over his last four starts and during the Atlanta series, Young, Dickey and Johann allowed 16 runs. That is not the way the Mets will crawl back into the race. Matt Harvey will not be able to help them coming up from the AAA Buffalo Bisons. Jason Bay most assuredly will not solidify the lineup and there is no other players out there to help the Mets because of managements’ lack of spending. So where do the Mets go from here? Allow Matt Harvey to pitch a few more games for the Bisons while fine-tuning his command, then bring him up in September for some major league experience.
Realize as fans that this season has been more than anyone could have ever imagined from this group of minor league talent making major league strides. The first half of 2012 has left an indelible mark on all New York Mets fans that always want to believe. These same fans have witnessed a sparkling notion that Omar Minaya left this team in an incredibly good position to possibly be good for years to come. Look at the Mets and understand that this may be a start to a fine run from an afflicted franchise. Be patient and let the youngsters develop the right way. Allow Sandy Alderson to do what he does best and that is to field a quality team.