3 valuable Mets lessons from their 4-4 road trip through D.C. and Pittsburgh

A good but not great road trip keeps the Mets a game under .500 as they head back home before the All-Star break.
New York Mets v Pittsburgh Pirates
New York Mets v Pittsburgh Pirates / Justin Berl/GettyImages
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3. The playoffs are out of the question if the Mets don't get bullpen help at the deadline

Speaking of the playoffs, there's one glaring deficiency the Mets have, and if they don't address it, they might as well start booking their October tee times now. The bullpen is in shambles, and only David Stearns can fix it.

The Mets have been unlucky when it comes to relievers this year. Brooks Raley is out for the season and likely part of next year too after undergoing surgery for a UCL strain in his elbow. Drew Smith is out for the year with elbow ligament damage, likely brought about in part because he needed to come in on short notice for Edwin Diaz after the star closer was ejected for having sticky stuff on his hands over two weeks ago.

The Mets have also been without Sean Reid-Foley, who has been suffering from a right shoulder impingement, but the hope is that he'll be back soon. Still, it's been a war of attrition for the bullpen, and there simply aren't enough arms that are either healthy enough or good enough to close out games.

There are always relievers available at the trade deadline, but the Mets won't be the only team looking to bolster their bullpen. David Stearns needs to thread the needle of adding quality depth to the pen without depleting the farm system that the team has been so careful to cultivate.

Arms that might be available are Tanner Scott of the Marlins (don't laugh at the possibility of an in-division trade, as the Mets traded David Robertson to Miami last year), Carlos Estevez of the Angels, Michael Kopech of the White Sox, and many others.

Mets fans have felt like Al Pacino in The Godfather: Part III this season. "Just when I think I'm out, they pull me back in." It's been a roller coaster ride through the season's first three months, and a strong six-game homestand to segue into the All-Star break could make a world of difference in the rest-of-season outlook. We'll see what the Mets can do when they take on the Nationals tonight.

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