Mike Francesa
Asbury Park Press

Mike Francesa has a date (or two) in mind for when Mets fans can start to believe again.

“They have to be .500 by Labor Day,” the WFAN legend said on his BetRivers podcast when asked about the Amazins’ hopes to mount a postseason rally.

“Anything less doesn’t work for me, as even having a chance. I might even say Sept. 1, rather than Labor Day.”

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Guess what? The Mets might be able to do it. It does not necessarily feel like it, but they have had a good July. They are 11-7 this month and now six games under .500 after Tuesday’s Subway Series win over the Yankees. They have one more game against the Bombers this week, as well as a four-game set at home against the Nationals. And then they open August with three games at the Royals.

Can they go 7-1 and get to .500 a week from Thursday? Even 6-2 would feel like an accomplishment.

The Mets’ August schedule is tougher. Seven games against the Braves, three against the Orioles, three against the Rangers. But they also have 12 games against the Angels, Cardinals, Cubs and Pirates. The opportunities are there.

The bad news: Getting to .500 by September would be the easy part. Then would come a month where every game feels like do-or-die, including a hellacious final two weeks where the Mets only play the Marlins and Phillies. But that is the hole Buck Showalter’s team has dug for itself. And this is the road they face to save this season.

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James Kratch can be reached at james.kratch@xlmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @jameskratch.

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.