The New York Mets entered the All-Star break playing some of the best baseball in the MLB. They ended with an 8-2 record on their 10-game homestand. They were playing inspired baseball, and they seemed invigorated.
They are now only five games under .500 and seven games back of the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves, as well as a wild-card spot. They certainly aren’t out of it by any means, but the Mets have their most important stretch of games starting on Friday as they embark on a 10-game road trip to the West Coast.
New York opens up against the San Diego Padres in a three-game set, then they head to the Great Northwest to play an improved Seattle Mariners team, and then the Mets finish it off with a four-game series against the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers. It’s a daunting task, and the Mets have had decent seasons derailed before by poor play after the All-Star Game. In 2012, they finished the month of July with a 4-14 record. In 2010, they finished with a 5-11 record, including losing the first five games after the break.
So history hasn’t exactly been in their favor as of late, and hopefully the break didn’t disrupt the momentum the Mets had before it. Not only will this stretch of games determine whether or not they may be factors into late August and September, but it will definitely determine their approach at the trade deadline as the road trip ends four days before July 31.
Bartolo Colon‘s name has already been thrown out there as a potential trading chip, and there are a number of teams that could use a quality, veteran starting pitcher. If the Mets struggle, expect him to be moved. One of the main reasons he signed was to eat innings in Matt Harvey‘s absence, but with the emergence of Jake deGrom, and the potential call-ups of Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero, Colon would just be holding a roster spot and nothing else. If, on the other hand, the Mets play well and gain even more ground, I would expect Colon to stay as his experience should help the younger starters late in the season.
There is a lot riding on the Mets’ next 10 games. Let’s see what this team is made of.