Adjusting Our Expectations

At 37-28, the Mets are on a track to win 92 games.  If they continue to win for the rest of the season at the same rate as they have been winning since their 4-8 start, they can be expected to win 97 or 98 games.  How likely is it that the Mets will maintain their current pace, improve upon it, or do worse?  Think about it.  There are strong reasons to think that Reyes, Bay, and Santana will actually play better for the rest of the season than they have played thus far.  Beltran will be coming back in July and he should be an improvement over Pagan, however well Pagan is playing.  Wright, Francoeur, and Davis are likely to play as well for the rest of the season as they have played thus far.  Neither Wright nor Francoeur is playing over his head and although we don’t really know what to expect of Davis, it seems to me to be as likely that he will improve as that he will decline.  And there’s no reason to expect a decline from the second base position either. 

The only players on the Mets who are making a major contribution and may be playing over their heads are Barajas and Dickey, although neither of them are showing signs that they are going to be worse than they have been thus far.  It is possible, of course, that Pelfrey will cool off, but he isn’t showing signs of that either.  I don’t think it is likely that we will see a series of declines in the remainder of the season that would be equivalent to the improvement we can probably expect from Reyes, Bay, Santana, and Beltran.  I believe in Niese and I think his season is just beginning.  At the start of the season, I predicted that the Mets would win 85 games.  I am willing to go on record predicting that they will win 95. 

Some will say that this just reflects the euphoria we now have after beating up on two terrible teams.  But the Mets have been beating good teams too and I don’t think that the schedule for the last five eighths of the season is demonstrably harder than the schedule for the first three eighths.  It’s true of course that there could be injuries, but I think that the only injury that could devastate us at this point would be Wright.  We have more depth in the outfield than we did last season.  We have more depth at catcher than we did last year.  We have more reliable pitchers.  This is a good team.  I don’t see a team in the National League that is certainly better.  While there are a few teams in the American League that I think are better, I don’t see any team in baseball that I am convinced the Mets couldn’t beat in a seven-game series. 

There is happiness in Metsville.  That helps too.  And I predict that there is more happiness to come.

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