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The Mets at Midseason: Can They Dig Their Way Out?

Mickey Callaway spent his All-Star break relaxing with his two daughters in the Florida Keys. The Mets and their fans are hoping that their second-year manager — in between fishing, swimming with dolphins and lying on the beach — was able to put together a plan to jump-start the team for the second half of the season.

The Mets pick back up on Friday night, heading to a three-game series at the lowly Miami Marlins, with a 40-50 record, a 13.5-game gap behind the division-leading Atlanta Braves, and a lengthy list of problems ailing them.

The Mets’ management has sworn — sincerely or not — that they are still in a position to win, with Callaway pointing to the Washington Nationals’ surge to second place in the National League East as evidence that any team can turn it around.

“I feel like we can make a run at this thing,” Callaway said. “We can sneak into that wild-card, sneak back in this division.”

Problem is, while the Nationals entered the break on the back of a 10-2 stretch, the Mets have won just three of their last 13 games, and players were not as upbeat as Callaway.

“I would say not the way we want,” second baseman Robinson Cano said about the first half of the season.

“It was frustrating,” pitcher Zack Wheeler said.

Here’s a look at how things stand for the Mets entering the second half:

The addition of Edwin Diaz and the return of Jeurys Familia were supposed to turn the Mets’ bullpen into a strength. That has … not happened. Mets relievers currently have the second-highest E.R.A. among relief staffs in the National League, at 5.67, according to FanGraphs. They have saved 21 games.

“We all know one thing for sure: that you have to have a great bullpen to win,” Callaway said. “That’s what watching a bullpen on a daily basis tough if things aren’t going well.”

Starting with the series in Miami, the Mets will have a stretch of nine games on the road before returning home. On that road trip, two games in Minnesota against the A.L. Central-leading Twins represent the toughest test on the trip.

“I think we need to get the ball rolling as soon as the break is over, to be quite honest with you,” Alonso said. “We just need to play really good ball.”

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