Commentary

Mets' midseason report card

Despite Bay's sub-par season and road woes, Amazin's are still in contention

Updated: July 15, 2010, 1:43 PM ET
By Adam Rubin | ESPNNewYork.com

Here are reasons for optimism:

The Mets get five-time All-Star Carlos Beltran back on Thursday.

They're within four games of first place after salvaging Sunday's series finale against the Atlanta Braves.

They're within striking distance despite getting only six home runs from Jason Bay in the first half -- paltry long-ball production that surely can't persist for a full season.

And the Mets have yet to play a game this season against National League doormats Pittsburgh (30-58), Arizona (34-55) and Houston (36-53). Meanwhile, division-leading Atlanta has played a combined 16 games against those opponents.

Still, the Mets have their issues, including an 18-24 road record (12-24 outside of Baltimore and Cleveland's boundaries). And they open up the second half with a three-city trip to San Francisco, Arizona and Los Angeles.

"The first half could have been better. But, on the flip side of that, it could have been worse," third baseman David Wright said. "We, as a team, had high expectations coming into this year. And I don't think we've quite lived up to the expectations we've had for ourselves so far.

"We're sitting in a position where we're going to be able to make a move in the second half and we're within striking distance. At the same time, I've felt like we gave some games away. There were times, especially on the road, where we didn't play the kind of baseball we were capable of. I think that needs to change in the second half."

Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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