The Mets at 47-42 and in second place in the NL East just finished their best first half in five seasons. What do they get out of it? They get to open the second half of the season with a 6 game road trip against the NL best Cardinals and Nationals. As much talk of needing to succeed leading up to the break with a West Coast trip against the Dodgers, Giants and Diamondbacks that had the Mets doomed for a second half spiral, success on this upcoming trip is just as vital to them remaining relevant until labor day.
Can the Mets ever become a successful organization like the Cardinals? The Cardinals are what the Mets and their fans aspire to become, despite some being too jealous to admit it. A pitching rich organization with the ability to attract free agents to support their pitching and sprinkle in some home grown hitters to carry them through the marathon of a season. A fan base that sticks by them through thick and thin and knows that ownership has the teams best interest in mind in all deals and plans made.
Can the Mets slumping sluggers come out of the break rested and ready to rumble? Murphy, Cuddyer and Lagares have been playing banged up for most of the first half and since his defensive lapses have settled, Flores has become a nice consistent piece to the puzzle in his first full season. The most important piece, however, is Duda, who after his torrid April, went ice cold until a recent power surge leading into the break. In order for the Mets to have success against the best pitching team in baseball, all of these guys will need to start hitting and fast.
Will Syndergaard take the next step in his development and carry the Mets to the promised land? Well maybe that is too much too soon, but a chance at being the team’s second half opening starter should do nothing but boost this kid’s confidence heading into the second half and despite rumblings of inning and pitch limits, we will cross that bridge when we get to it. What we do need to see is continued development of his secondary pitches and an improved ability to keep the ball in the park. With those two improvements and his high 90’s heat, this summer should be a fun and competitive one in Flushing.