The second half of the 2013 Mets season gets underway Friday, and after a disappointing first half, should we expect anything different over the course of the rest of the season?
Well, you could make an argument that the Mets are turning things around. After losing six out of seven and dropping to a season low 15 games under .500 in mid-June, the Mets have gone 17-11 an are now nine games away from being even.
But are the Mets built to last? Unfortunately the answer is no. Here’s why:
Over at first base, Ike Davis has shown no signs that he is about to explode like he did last season. Instead, it looks like he might struggle the rest of the way. Josh Satin is hitting very well, but he is bound to slow down.
Daniel Murphy will be just fine at second, while shortstop is still a mystery. Can Ruben Tejada come back? Can Omar Quintanilla continue to fill in admirably? The answers could easily be no.
David Wright is having perhaps his best season as a Met, and it will continue.
Outfield production, as poor as it is, will likely decline. Marlon Byrd will not be able to continue his pace. Eric Young has been great, but we don’t know him well enough to know what to expect. Lucas Duda? He will come back, but he is just terrible.
John Buck showed a bit more life in the past couple of weeks, but he will go back to his all or nothing approach. Travis d’Arnaud could make an appearance in September, or maybe he won’t.
Now to the pitching. We’ve all been saying that Matt Harvey will eventually come down to earth. However, he has shown no signs of slowing down and will continue this pace and possibly win the Mets a second straight Cy Young. Zach Wheeler will improve and have a fine second half. Jonathon Niese will come back, but who knows what to expect? Dillon Gee will continue being up and down. And Jeremy Hefner has to slow down, but he’s still giving the Mets more than they ever imagined.
In the bullpen, Bobby Parnell has been doing a good job, but he is still a bit shaky as a closer. Josh Edgin has pitched well since his return and will get better. The rest of the guys will continue their mediocrity.
I expect the Mets to be quiet at the trade deadline. I actually believe Sandy Alderson when he said he will try to add a power-hitting outfielder, but nobody good will be available. Giancarlo Stanton is not going anywhere, the Rockies will not trade Carlos Gonzalez because they can still get back into the race in the terrible NL West and with their fragile outfielders, the Dodgers will not trade Andre Ethier until the off season.
So by my accounts, the Mets will perform just like they did in the first half, which wasn’t very good. They need to go 40-31 to reach .500. It just ain’t gonna happen — the talent is not there. It would be nice if they can go 34- 37 so they can win one more game than last season and finally show some improvement. I am just hoping they can go 32-39 to avoid losing 90 games. Either way, the second half is not going to be pretty.