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I want to believe. I do. But, Sunday's loss to the Padres was a microcosm of this season so far, and until these guys reach .500 it's going to remain difficult for me to totally buy in to any talk of a playoff race, despite how wide open the division and wild card may seem.

The Mets hit the All-Star break having won 8 of 10 at home, then rallied from behind to win a fun game Friday night to kick of a three-game road series against the Padres, who are the worst hitting team in the big leagues. And, of course, just as I started to let myself think, "OK, maybe the start of this second half will be different, maybe this time they'll come out rocking and keep up momentum,' they drop two in a row to lose the series...

In the series finale, the Mets trailed all day -- without a hit -- until tying it up on the eighth inning. I'm thinking, again, there's a chance, maybe I was right, maybe this time will be different, maybe these guys can make a run at this game, this division, this playoff race, then - bam - errors, runs and a loss. Back to reality, which is this: As the Mets begin seven road games through Seattle and Milwaukee, they are six games below .500, nine losses behind the Nationals (for the division) and seven losses behind the Dodgers (for the wild card) and there are just 64 games left to play. It's an uphill fight with a young team that has not been over .500 in months...

That said, because the starting rotation looks so good, because Travis d'Arnaud and Lucas Duda no longer look like busts, because Curtis Granderson has shaken off his rough start, because Jenrry Mejia and Jeurys Familia look like a terrific one-two punch in the bullpen, and because Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard are waiting in the wings, despite the reality about the standings, this season often still feels like a success. Or, at the very least, it gives off a feeling like things are legitimately moving in a good direction.

Tags: matthewcerrone, avsny, MetsBlog , Matthew Cerrone
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