New York Mets Look to Continue First-Half Success by Derrel “Jazz” Johnson

The New York Mets ended the first half with a 46-40 record, only a half game out of the National League Wild Card, and only 4.5 games behind the National League East leading Washington Nationals.  As a team, the New York Mets have performed extremely well, and that will need to continue into the second half of the season for them to stay in contention.

The pitching of the Mets was absolutely, well, Amazin’ during the first half of the season.  The team held opponents to one run or less in a Major League-high 23 games.  No surprise that the Mets lead the Majors in Quality Starts, a statistic defined as a minimum of six innings with a maximum of three earned runs, with 56.  The pitching has helped the Mets stay in every game.

The Mets have also been clutch at the plate.  Going into the final game of the first half, the Mets had scored 187 runs with two outs, also most in the Majors.  For the team to continue it’s success, they will need to continue that clutch hitting in the second half as well.

Finally, the Mets all stars, David Wright and RA Dickey, will need to continue their great seasons and lead the team.  Hitting .351 with 11 homers, 27 doubles, an on-base percentage of .441 and 59 runs batted in, Wright is a legitimate Most Valuable Player candidate.  He will need to continue this pace for the Mets to possibly win a Wild Card.  Help is potentially on the way with Ike Davis, who was hitting .309 with 7 homers and 28 RBI in his last 24 games before the first-half finale.   Dickey will also need to come close to his first-half numbers.  It wouldn’t be fair to expect Dickey to match his first half numbers, a 12-1 record with a 2.40 earned run average with 123 strikeouts.

Dickey is the leading candidate for the National League Cy Young Award.  Though his record doesn’t show it, Johan Santana, at 6-5 with 99 punch outs and an earned run average of 3.24, has kept the Mets in many games this season, and will need to do the same in the second half.

This has been an unexpectedly good first half for the Mets, and the team has exceeded the expectations of even the most optimistic Mets fans.  Hopefully in the second half, the team continues the great play, and the fans come out to support the team at Citi Field, as they did on Tuesday, July 3, 2012, when a Citi Field record 42,516 witnessed a pre-holiday Mets win.

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