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Mets turn in big series ahead of favorable schedule

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Jun 25, 2017; San Francisco, CA, USA; New York Mets catcher Rene Rivera (44)high fives pitcher Rafael Montero (50) after his second home run of the game against the San Francisco Giants in the fourth inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Villa-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 25, 2017; San Francisco, CA, USA; New York Mets catcher Rene Rivera (44)high fives pitcher Rafael Montero (50) after his second home run of the game against the San Francisco Giants in the fourth inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Villa-USA TODAY Sports
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The Mets swept San Francisco, will have six of the next eight series against sub-.500 teams

The New York Mets pieced together one of their best series of the season. After a win on Sunday, the Mets swept the San Francisco Giants to move themselves to 34-41 on the year. That followed the sting of getting dominated by the Dodgers in the early part of the week.

Is this actually the beginning of a Mets team trying to turn things around? Make no mistake the team has a long way to go at 12.5 games out of the Wild Card entering the day. There’s also the caveat from Sandy Alderson at the start of the weekend that they could start fielding trade offers for some of their expiring contracts like Lucas Duda, Jay Bruce, and Addison Reed.

This recently completed Giants series was the beginning of a stretch of seven of nine series against sub-.500 teams. Included the rest of the upcoming span are 17 games against St. Louis, Philadelphia, Oakland, and San Diego, all of whom are at least seven games under .500.

Would it be foolish to expect a mega run in that stretch? If this past weekend is any indication then the Mets could at least be at a point where they could beat up on the bad teams.

The next question is where would that put the Mets in the standings with still a full two months left? If New York could use an easy July schedule (on paper) to narrow the gap in half then you start to look further down the line and at the prospect of slowly chipping away.

There are some bright spots. Jacob deGrom has rebounded from a couple of rough starts and has been dominant in turns against the Cubs, Nationals, and Giants. A few guys are starting to pick up their play, most notably Curtis Granderson. Rafael Montero has even looked better in a couple of long relief roles and he held the fort down well in his start on Sunday.

Next: Mets need to not trade Jacob deGrom

All this optimism may still mean nothing in the grand scheme of things. The Mets may still sell a couple of expiring contracts and get some level of a return to bolster an average farm system. Also, the aforementioned stretch of games ends on July 27 so there are still a few days to get things done if the Mets don’t make significant headway by then.

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