Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Enjoy the ride, people

This is the way it's going to be all season, Mets fans. Buckle up.

The team drops 4 of 5 on the road before getting back-to-back walk-off wins on homers by each catcher, then loses to the Giants on an eighth-inning homer after rallying to take a lead in a game started by Tim Lincecum, followed by a loss to a rookie pitcher, followed by doing next to nothing for seven innings before scoring eight runs in the eighth for one of the most enjoyable victories in recent memory, capped off by a another loss forged by a ninth-inning home run off K-Rod.

No one said the ride was going to be smooth one, and while Wednesday's loss -- coming as it did on the heels of a tremendous comeback win on Tuesday night -- was dispiriting, there's no denying that the vibe around the Mets is a much different one than a year ago, when the team had the same record through the first six weeks.

Then, things were falling apart. Injuries were beginning to take their toll, and by the All-Star break the Mets were a dead team walking.

Now, despite a few red flags (walks allowed, giving up late-inning home runs, not hitting with RISP) and some cold spells suffered by the likes of David Wright, Jason Bay, Jose Reyes and Jeff Francoeur (i.e., the middle of the order), there is much more optimism.

Gary Sheffield and Carlos Delgado have been replaced by players like Francoeur, Bay and Ike Davis. The catching duo of Rod Barajas and Henry Blanco is light years better than what the team had last season. The new additions to the bullpen, especially Hisanori Takahashi (and when he was healthy, Ryota Igarashi) have turned a liability into an asset.

Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey, promising Jon Niese and a resurgent John Maine each give the Mets a chance to win whenever they're on the mound.

Fans saw no walk-off wins last season at Citi Field, and this week they got two back-to-back. Resiliency, the hallmark of great teams, is starting to appear. Tuesday's comeback was one for the ages, and featured a clutch pinch hit by Chris "the Animal" Carter, who should have made the team out of spring training and whose relentless attitude provides yet another spark to this club.

What more can you say about Davis, who went over the rail for the third time in about as many weeks for a circus catch, this time for the game-ending grab? Just incredible.

And for all the criticism thrown his way, David Wright is 5-for-10 since being ejected, is hitting .288 with an OBP of .419 and and OPS of .961, projecting to about 28 homers and 105 RBI. Awful, isn't it?

Sure, Reyes isn't hitting, but the Mets have benefited by having different players step up at different times. Davis has been excellent, and Barajas has been a revelation.

The cheating Phillies -- and I agree 100% with Francoeur that the extra three home games the Phils are getting against Toronto is "bullsh&t" -- aren't running away with anything just yet. There's plenty of talent and fight in this Mets team, enough to expect it to hang in the race for the division title for a good, long while.

Take Wednesday's game. Although the Mets were down, 4-2, I had every confidence that they could make up the deficit, and they did. You couldn't say that last season.

If it wasn't for Roger Bernardina (Two home runs? Really?), who drove in three and saved three with a diving, two-out catch with the bases loaded, Wednesday could have been just as exciting as Tuesday.

But with these Mets, there's always a tomorrow to look forward to. Last season, there were only tomorrows to dread.


  1. wow those are rose colored glasses.....Like the stock market when stocks go up and down very quickly and the action gets loose.....its usually a precursor for a crash coming....The METS CRASH IS COMING!!!!......(On a side note I like Ike the catchers and the animal) Now we just have to rid ourselves of those wastes on the leftside of the infield.....Trade them now before its too late.

  2. Yup we need to trade our 3B that has a .961 OPS. Yup that should help.

  3. Yeah man. Relax!

    While I'm here, let's move Jose back to leadoff!

  4. That's what I'm waiting for next -- moving Reyes back to leadoff, with Wright batting third and having Davis break up Bay and Francoeur. Bat Castillo or Pagan second. Should happen sooner rather than later!