Looking at the schedule immediately before the All-Star break, many a Mets fans were probably drooling at the possibility of going 5-1, or at least 4-2, against the two dwellers of the National League. Let's face it, the Phillies and the Cubs are two teams that good, competitive teams are suppose to beat.
But the Mets struggled and were not able to capitalize on an inferior opponent. They went 3-3 this past week and finished the first half of the season at 46-40; good for 4.5 games behind the Washington Nationals in the NL East. With that mark, they are also only .5 games behind the Atlanta Braves for the final Wild Card playoff spot.
My gut feeling is that this NL and NL East race will remain this tight all the way through September. None of the top three teams in the East are flawless and good enough to run away with the division, but also, none of them are showing enough signs of bad play which will drop them out of the race. They are mirror images of each other and will continue to beat each other up over the next three months.
One instance which may make this a more interesting summer is how these teams will handle the upcoming trade deadline. Baseball is just over three weeks away from the deadline and all of the teams have a certain need or two that has to be addressed.
Both the Mets and Nationals are going to need pitching help. The Mets in the bullpen and a starter for the Nationals. Because of his young age and recent history with injuries, the Nationals will be shutting Stephan Strasburg down near the end of August. The Braves on the other hand, they may have the most potential. They're a team without a huge flaw. Their hitting and pitching is right in the middle of the pack or higher. But they are inconsistent. If that area gets straightened out, watch out.
The All-Star break is here and it is a welcome for the Mets. Not many people expected them to be in this position. 46 wins at this stage was way to many for most people to imagine. Well they have them and they're digging for more.