Hey, they can hit (and not just Bartolo!)

One of the most remarkable things about the Mets' pitching staff this season is the turnaround it has made at the plate.

In 2014, Mets pitchers hit an ugly .090 (second-worst among National League teams), finishing with 27 hits and 12 RBIs. That batting average was the lowest in franchise history.

It was tough to watch, particularly when Bartolo (2-for-62) Colon came to the plate.

But in a season in which the Mets are doing everything they can possibly do to try to win games (witness Jeurys Familia's five-out save on Sunday), their pitchers have made it a point to get better with the bat.

With Colon's 1-for-2 on Sunday, Mets pitchers are hitting .182 for the season. They have 18 hits and seven RBIs, both best in the major leagues. They entered Sunday worth a half-win above replacement for the season. Last season, they cost the team half a win. Given the tightness of the NL East and what is looking like a packed wild-card race, every win makes a difference.

The Mets' path from (almost) worst to first is not just Colon-driven, though it certainly doesn't hurt that he's already exceeded his hit total from last season by going 3-for-21.

Jacob deGrom has picked up where he left off, going 5-for-21. Jonathon Niese is 4-for-19 after going 5-for-55 last season. Noah Syndergaard looked like Babe Ruth in his last start, hitting a mammoth home run and notching two other hits. Perhaps this will motivate Matt Harvey (1-for-19) to get back to hitting like he did in his debut season, when he showed some skill by going 6-for-18. He's 6-for-77 since then.

Terry Collins noted that assistant hitting coach Pat Roessler has put in the work to get his pitchers to be better with the bat. Three pitchers -- deGrom, Syndergaard and Niese -- told Collins not to give them the bunt sign with one out because they feel they're capable of doing something positive at the plate.

"Right now it's a little competition," Collins said.

Danny Knobler contributed to this report.