Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/8/12

When the New York Mets began this season, expectations were low. Most around baseball figured they would be well out of contention by the time the All-Star break rolled around.

But the break is here, and the Mets, despite a 7-0 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Sunday, are still improbably well within contention of a playoff berth.

They have done it thanks to an MVP-caliber first half from David Wright, a storybook season from R.A. Dickey and contributions up and down the roster. Players such as Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Dillon Gee, Ruben Tejada and Bobby Parnell have done their parts to help outpace expectations, allowing the Mets to stick within a stone's throw of the Nationals in the NL East.

"It just seems like we have a resiliency about us that is pretty special," Wright said. "It's what you need in baseball because you're going to have to ride that roller coaster a little bit."

New York's rotation has the third-best ERA in baseball at 3.55, trailing only the Nationals and Dodgers. Dickey's knuckleball mastery has been a huge part of that, and the comeback of Johan Santana, who threw a no-hitter against the Cardinals on June 1, has been vital, too.

The Mets have certainly ridden it throughout a season that has been far from perfect, including some early-season injuries. New York has held its own despite an utter lack of home run power, a susceptibility to left-handed pitching and the worst bullpen in baseball. General manager Sandy Alderson is working to address those areas before the July 31 trade deadline.

In the interim, the Mets will continue relying on Wright, Dickey and their supporting cast, working to keep their good vibes of the first half going.

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