The Mets‘ 2023 first half went how nobody expected. The blue and orange finished the first half at 42-48 and are seven games out of the final wild-card spot, with the division looking far out of reach.
If the Mets hope to make up some ground and have a successful second half, here are three players that will make or break the Amazins remaining 72 games.
Justin Verlander had big shoes to fill when the Mets inked the 40-year-old to a two-year contract worth $86.6 million to replace franchise icon Jacob DeGrom.
Verlander’s first half in Queens was certainly not up to the three-time Cy-Young Award’s standards, as injuries and poor performances left much to be desired.
Since debuting with the blue and orange, Verlander has pitched 70 innings across 12 starts to a 3.60 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP.
Verlander needs to pitch like an ace if the Mets hope to succeed in the second half.
One of the biggest surprises of the first half had to be how successful David Robertson was in the closer role.
Robertson came to the Mets this offseason on a one-year 10-million-dollar contract to be the setup man for Edwin Díaz but ended up being the opening day closer after Díaz’s injury during the World Baseball Classic.
The 38-year-old has been nothing short of excellent. Robertson has appeared in 36 games, earning a 2.06 ERA with 46 strikeouts and 13 saves.
If the Mets want to have a successful second half, Robertson will need to continue to excel in the ninth inning.
After a successful first season in Queens, the second of the Mets’ pair of Aces has looked like a different pitcher in the first half.
In his second season sporting the blue and orange, Max Scherzer has pitched 87.2 innings across 16 starts to a 4.31 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP.
Like Verlander, Scherzer needs to pitch like the future Hall of Famer he is if the Mets can turn things around in the second half.