When the season started, everyone expected this team to fail. This writer thought the Mets were good enough to win 79 to 83 games this season.

The Mets finished April by going 14-9. They started the month of May playing .500 ball until the Marlins swept them at Florida.

This caused concern within the hierarchy. Jeff Wilpon and Omar Minaya visited Jerry Manuel in Atlanta after the team’s series with the Marlins. They demanded answers from Manuel about what happened that weekend.

Based on that meeting, everyone figured Manuel would be fired as soon as the team finished their road trip. In fact, everyone thought Bob Melvin would manage the Mets after the Yankees were done with the Mets in their first installment of the Subway Series.

It didn’t happen. The Mets took the series against the Yankees, and they followed it up by sweeping the Phillies to complete a successful homestand.

The thought was the Mets could make a run for a playoff spot, but then the Mets played awful against the Brewers and the Padres in their last road trip.

Now the team has everyone excited again after taking two of three against the Padres last night.

The best way to describe the Mets? They are an enigma. It’s befuddling to see this team play well at home yet struggle on the road.

The Mets may not be an elite team, but they are an above-average team. This team has a good starting pitching trio that should be winning at least 90 percent of its games.

That should be enough to make a run for the wild-card at best.

The hitting has been good enough to win games. For all the alleged problems this team has at Citi Field when it comes to hitting, they still figure out a way to put runs on the scoreboard. The lineup isn’t bad despite the inconsistences by David Wright, Jason Bay, and Jose Reyes.

So what’s the problem?

It comes down to Wright, Bay and Reyes. Their stars need to play like stars on the road. Too many times, those three stars struggle. They have one good game, and they follow it up by playing awfully the next few games.

This can’t go on. It’s June already.

By now, these guys should have enough at-bats to have hit their stride. It’s hard to understand why it is, especially Wright.

Just when Wright figure it out, he struggles again. He strikes out often, and he looks lost at the plate. It’s surprising to see this. One figures he is smart enough to know what to do. This shouldn’t be happening at this point of his career.

For Pete’s sake, Ike Davis has more of a clue how to hit the baseball than Wright. Tge rookie approaches the game as a sage veteran while Wright has that rookie approach.

Reyes started to turn his season around couple of weeks ago, but now he is a shell of himself again. He’s not the dynamic player the team expects him to be. He’s never on base, and he is not displaying the speed he used to exhibit as a rookie.

A case can be made that Reyes’ injuries hindered his ability to run. Reyes’ struggles is a mystery for this management team. He had a great season in 2006, but ever since then, he has been a symbol of underachievement.

It wasn’t coincidence the team took off when Reyes established himself as a bonafide player in 2006. The Mets will be a contender as soon as Reyes figures himself out. That could be a tough task.

What to make of Bay? It was thought to be a good signing, but it hasn’t worked out so far. He’s a streaky hitter, but so far, it’s been more of bad than good.

The Red Sox know what they’re doing when they let their best players go. Maybe that’s the case with Bay. Maybe his legs are weak to the point he’s struggling to pull the ball.

This team has been fun to watch. Fans will take watching this team over watching the unwatchable team of last year.

This version of Mets give fans hope. At Citi Field, everyone expects the home team to win. People expect good things to happen from their players. The Mets know their starters will pitch well at their pitching-friendly park.

Still, this team needs to win on the road. They are not making the playoffs with terrible hitting performances away from Citi Field.

The onus is on their big three to step up and get it done. It’s one thing to struggle against great road teams, but it’s another thing to struggle against bad road teams.

This year is a crucial year for Wright and Reyes. If they can’t get it done now, what makes the organization think it will get better for those two in the future? If Bay struggles the rest of the season, it’s a good bet he may not live up the rest of his contract.

The team’s present and future relies on those three stars to do something now.





Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com