Two months into the season, the New York Mets already seem destined to finish the regular season with a losing record for the fifth straight year.
The Mets, seven years removed from their last playoff berth in 2006, appear likely to be playing golf and watching the postseason from their couches come October.
With one-third of the season in the rearview mirror, they sit eight games under .500 at 22-30, good enough for fourth place in the National League East.
There have been few bright spots for this ball-club in 2013.
The most apparent one being star right-handed pitcher Matt Harvey, who has posted a 5-0 record with a stellar 1.85 earned run average to date.
The rest of the staff, however, has been under-whelming, to put it nicely. Jon Niese hasn't been his reliable self, Shaun Marcum and Dillon Gee have been wildly inconsistent and prior to Wednesday's win over the Yankees, the Mets had been 0-8 in games started by Jeremy Hefner.
Harvey has 9 of the 26 quality starts by Met pitchers.
The bullpen, while not as horrific as last year, is still not very reliable. Closer Bobby Parnell has been great, posting a 1.85 ERA while earning the save in nine of his 11 opportunities. Beyond that, though, no Met reliever has an ERA under 3.00.
To put that into perspective, the Atlanta Braves have four relief pitchers (not including closer Craig Kimbrel) with earned run averages under 3.00.
As for the offense, it's almost as if the batting order goes as follows:
2. Daniel Murphy
3. David Wright
Yeah, it's that bad.
Murphy is putting together a career year, batting .304 with four home runs, 25 runs batted in, 34 runs scored and a stolen base. Those numbers may not look like anything special, but anyone who has been watching the Mets knows how much Murph has contributed to this team.
He is hitting a remarkable .389 in his last 18 games, raising his average by 46 points over that stretch.
Murph is also playing a great second base, with only two errors on the year, and has been coming through with hits in clutch situations.
Wright is also having an all-star caliber season, but that is much less surprising. The captain is making a solid case to be the one manning the hot corner at Citi Field on July 16.
While Wright is only batting .283, his .384 on base percentage is well above average. He has also added seven homers and 11 stolen bases, the latter stat being more than enough to lead the team.
All of this is not to say John Buck isn't having a quality season, he has just cooled off a lot from his hot start. His very different first and second months have balanced out to result in a solid start to the year, but he has been seemingly non-existent the past three weeks, going yard only once in his last 24 games.
Lucas Duda has been characteristically mediocre, and the Mets have been struggling mightily to find two other everyday outfielders. Mike Baxter, Jordany Valdespin, Marlon Byrd, Rick Ankiel and anyone else who has played the outfield have all failed to produce at any kind of high level.
As good as Murphy and Wright have been, the rest of the infield has been as bad, if not worse.
There's an argument to be made that Ruben Tejada is the worst starter in all of baseball.
We're talking about a starting shortstop that has made eight errors in 48 games. We're also talking about a leadoff hitter that has stolen two bases. Then let's add his slash line of .209/.267/.262. There is absolutely no reason someone with those numbers should be in baseball, let alone starting at shortstop and leading off.
With Tejada on the DL, Omar Quintanilla will be getting the majority of Tejada's playing time.
Ike Davis may not be the worst player on the team, but he is definitely the most disappointing. The first baseman so many once had such high hopes for is batting a pathetic .163 on the year with a .253 slugging percentage, which is inexcusable for a power hitter.
Davis has hit four home runs and only knocked in 13 runs.
On the bright side, he was just as awful in the first half of 2012, and ended up with 32 home runs, 90 RBI's and a .227 batting average, so hopefully he will turn it around in the second half, once again.
Still, it's hard to continue to stick with someone who simply cannot hit the ball for half of the season.
So, what to do with Davis? Do they stay with him and hope he turns it around like he did last year? That's a bit of a risk, but there aren't many other options.
If they do decide to bench or demote Davis, Duda could play first, but that means another platoon player like Byrd, Baxter or Valdespin would be getting everyday at-bats they don't deserve.
Murphy has played some first, but the Mets shouldn't mess with him the way he is playing.
Buck can also be a potential first basemen, but they would probably have to wait for Travis d'Arnaud to be ready before making that change.
d'Arnaud was originally expected to make the leap to the big leagues sometime in May, but a fractured left foot has prevented that from happening. It is still unclear when he will be called up, since he has yet to resume playing in Triple-A.
Whether the phenom catcher acquired by the Mets in exchange for R.A. Dickey will play in the majors at all this year is still up in the air.
Zach Wheeler, New York's top pitching prospect, has also been anxiously waiting his turn to pitch in the majors, as well. A minor injury and unimpressive numbers, relatively speaking, have kept Wheeler from getting the call.
With the way the Mets have struggled so far, guys like d'Arnaud and Wheeler may be called up as soon as they are each fully healthy, even if it is earlier than the team would like.
Or maybe they should hold off on calling up their top prospects, let them continue to develop in the minors and bring them up for next year.
Who knows. There are a lot of questions surrounding the Amazin's right now.
In any case, many Met fans, myself included, are tired of losing and are hoping the recent four game double-sweep of the cross-town rival Yankees will be a turning point in the season.
I'm not holding my breath, though.