The Mets’ second-half goal is a pipe dream and a smokescreen

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The Mets and Terry Collins targeted 51 wins as the post All-Star break magic number.

The reality of that number for this team is overwhelming. Following another Never On Sunday Citi Field loss, this time a 13-4 thrashing by the Rockies, the Mets would have to go 49-24 the rest of the way to make it to the 90-win level.

They had won the first two out of the break in convincing fashion over the Rockies, the second wild-card team. But a sweep would be needed, and once again when the Mets needed a win in a most desperate way, they came up empty. That is the story of the 2017 Mets.

As Sandy Alderson noted Friday, “lousy’’ pitching was at the root of another critical loss.

“You can’t just throw up the white flag and say the season is over,’’ Collins said before the terrible performance. “I said going into the break, let’s win 51 of the 76 left. That’s got to be our goal, get to 90 wins and see where we are at. I don’t think for any stretch of the imagination that this is over yet.’’

Collins is ultra-competitive — it’s his greatest strength.

It’s over, though. With the pitching issues the Mets have, 90 wins is beyond the impossible dream. And now with Steven Matz in a rut in which he is not throwing his curveball for some reason, the Mets are down to one reliable starter: Jacob deGrom.

The Mets are 41-48. The reality is that there will be trades — lots of trades — once Alderson puts his mind to making moves, and perhaps more than walk-away veterans will be traded.

T.J. Rivera

Players like T.J. Rivera, who features an 11-game hitting streak, are drawing some interest, but it is doubtful the Mets would trade such a controllable commodity.

The fact that this is showcase time, not prospect time, has as much as anything to do with Amed Rosario remaining in the minors. If you are playing Rosario, that is one fewer player you can showcase. If you are playing Rosario, there is one more frustrated veteran, namely Asdrubal Cabrera, who when asked Sunday if he had spoken to Rosario, said he last spoke to him in spring training.

Meanwhile, Jose Reyes told The Post before the game he texts Rosario on a regular basis, and even told him to tone down the social media act.

Until the time is right and moves are made, enjoy Vegas, kid.

This season is now showcase time, nothing else.

The Mets hit rock bottom Sunday as far as being competitive.

The Mets are promoting the Noah Syndergaard Thor Bobblehead night on July 22 as the “event of the summer’’ and also kicked off a “no fees’’ ticket promotion. This is a year of losing.

This is not going to be pretty. The Mets talked about winning two of three, but this was another opportunity that slipped away.

They know what’s ahead. It’s especially bad now that Matz has fallen into a funk his last two starts, and on Sunday he allowed more hits in one inning of work (nine) than any Met has allowed, according to ESPN Stats – not to mention seven runs, four in the first and three in the second, when he could not record an out.

These are the Never On Sunday Mets, having gone 1-5 in their last six Sunday home games and getting slaughtered in the process.

There was no Yoenis Cespedes in the lineup because of a sore left hip. He is supposed to return Monday night. Cespedes owns 20 RBIs on the season. That number speaks volumes, too.

The strange day featured an inside-the-park home run by Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon in the seventh, a drive that landed above the orange line in center field. Curtis Granderson knew it was a home run, but the umpires never called it a home run, and Blackmon, to his credit, kept running hard.

These Mets are running in place. They are 21-25 at home, a reflection of their lousy pitching, and their lousy season, as much as anything.



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