They’ve gone from a team who was selling at this year’s July 31st trade deadline to a team that is in the middle of wacky and very wide open Wild Card race in the National League.
It truly is absurd to think about.
The Mets were 11 games under .500, a team full of issues, and looked every part the pretender. Who were Mets in the first half of the season?
An underperforming starting rotation? Check. A lineup that didn’t feel complete aside from the performances of Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil? Check. An overall team defense that was nothing short of deplorable? Check. The worst first-half bullpen you will ever see? Check, check and check.
The Mets had the feel of being a seller at the trade deadline.
Noah Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler were on the block, and rumors were swirling throughout July. But just as the Mets were about to pull the trigger, something happened.
The Mets finally found ways to win ballgames.
The bullpen, even with the presence of slumping Edwin Diaz, finally started holding leads.
The lineup, which felt like a two or three-man show for most the year started to finally looked balanced and complete.
Amed Rosario, who looked like a guy destined to be moved from shortstop in the first half of the season, reminded the Mets and their fans why he was so highly regarded in the minor leagues, not only with his bat but with his much improved glove.
Add that to the Mets starting rotation pitching to their potential, and it opens your eyes in a big way.
Not only did the Mets see their own pitchers start to perform, they went out and added Long Island native Marcus Stroman from the Toronto Blue Jays.
The addition of Stroman alongside Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler and Steven Matz gives the Mets one of the best starting rotations in all of baseball.
When you have starting pitchers consistently going deep into games, it gives you a much better chance to win.
The Mets rotation may be the ultimate catalyst in their wild second-half turnaround.
The team has moved over the .500 mark for the first time since early May, but the schedule is about to become far more challenging.
In other words, the Mets have beaten up on a very soft part of the schedule. They have nothing to apologize for, but the Pirates and Marlins will turn into the Nationals and Braves starting this weekend.
The next three weeks will tell us if this July stretch was simply a mirage, or if the momentum has swung to a point where the Mets believe they can play with and beat the big boys in the National League.
The fact that meaningful baseball is being played at Citi Field in August is rather remarkable.
I applaud the Mets for getting within 2.5 games of a playoff spot, but I need to see the Mets beat the good teams in the National League before I’m ready to say this team is playoff bound.
It’s the equivalent of a basketball team down 20-plus points and rallying to cut the deficit to two. Can you get over that hump and ride the wave of momentum? Or is it simply too big a hurdle to climb?
I guess we’re about to find out!
You can listen to me all week with Evan Roberts in for Mike Francesa from 3 to 6:30 p.m. on WFAN Sports Radio 660 AM/1019 FM. Plus you can watch me on Geico Sportsnight Saturday at 11 p.m. on SNY.