Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

After going through an incredibly rough stretch of subpar performance, the Mets appear to be back on track. New York had failed to consistently accomplish two very basic aspects of baseball through its first 43 games of the season, but they’ve figured it out over the past two weeks.

After losing 7-6 on May 16th to the Tampa Bay Rays, the Mets had fallen to 20-23 on the season. But once Pete Alonso hit a walk-off homer the next night, the Mets have gone 10-4 over their past 14 games.

As they prepare to host the Toronto Blue Jays this weekend, they’re 30-27 and in sole possession of second place in the National League East. They’ll be heading to Atlanta next week to face the Braves, who enter Friday’s action with a 3.5-game lead over New York. Manager Buck Showalter’s club is also holding an NL Wild Card spot at the moment.

So, what the heck happened? Pretty basic stuff, folks — the Mets’ starting rotation began pitching better and the position players finally showed some power at the plate. A simple elixir that can lead to winning baseball, and it’s nice to see the Mets finally trying it out.

When the sky seemed to be falling for New York, there were three main things grinding my gears. One of them was the rotation not consistently getting deep into games, leaving the bullpen overextended. Well, that’s changed recently:

Shockingly enough, when one of Showalter’s starters goes that deep into a game, the Mets win:

On the flip side, New York is consistently hitting the ball over the fence. Earlier in the year, they went through a drought of more than 50 innings without hitting a dinger. And now, they’ve slugged at least one in each of their last 15 games.

Through May 16th, the Mets had hit 44 home runs as a team. That ranked 20th in MLB. But since May 17th, New York has slugged 21 dingers, which is tied with Atlanta for the fifth-most in baseball during that time.

Isn’t it weird how solid starting pitching and some power in the lineup can change everything? The emergence of Francisco Alvarez and his power has contributed quite a bit. His five homers during this period are second on the team to Alonso. Francisco Lindor is right behind both of them with four of his own.

Baseball isn’t an easy game, but the way to win is simple — it’s what the Mets have been doing the last couple of weeks. Let’s keep it up, yea? That’d be great.

You can reach Matt Musico at You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.