With yesterday's win over the Yankees, the Mets completed the first half of their 2008 season exactly one game under .500.
The first 81 games were interesting. You never know what you're going to get with these Mets. One day you can get a pitching meltdown coupled with an offensive explosion. Other days it's dominant performances on the mound and a sub par effort at the plate.
The Mets will keep you guessing. So far their play has been decent, as shown by their record of 40-41. It doesn't seem new manager Jerry Manuel has done enough to light a fire under some of the players, but they do seem to be smiling and enjoying the game more.
The Mets really need to turn it on for the next eight games. They'll face the St. Louis Cardinals and their NL east rivals Philadelphia Phillies, both on the road, before coming home for a home stand before t he All Star break.
Their division is wide open and ripe for the taking. The Phillies, Marlins, Mets and Braves are all have a very good shot at winning the division. All four teams are within four games of first place. The last 10 games have seen the Phillies go 2-8, the Marlins go 4-6, the Mets go 5-5, and the Braves go 4-6.
With the Mets taking on St. Louis, the Phillies and Braves will face each other in the "I don't know who to root for" series. Still, I feel the Marlins are playing way over their heads and won't hold on for the whole season.
I'll come right out and say it: the Mets have a definite shot at winning this division. With tighter play over the next 82 games, the Mets can make the playoffs, and I think they will.