Despite their division leading record, we have yet to see the Mets clicking on all cylinders. Throughout the first two months of the season, they have been plagued by an assortment of injuries that has greatly impacted their ability to score runs consistently. They have now lost three straight for the first time this season, and are on the verge of being swept, also for the first time this season.
The Mets finally got Carlos Beltran back after missing a few games with a bruised knee. It was quite obvious that his timing was off at the plate, but then again even before the injury, he was mired in a tough slump at the plate. Last night was his first homer since May 13th, and after batting .356 in April, he batted only .234 in May with a horrendous .351 slugging percentage. That’s not exactly the kind of production you want from your number three hitter in the lineup.
Carlos Delgado may still be suffering from the lingering effects of off-season surgery. Just when you thought he had turned the corner with 6 home runs and 20 RBI in May, he has hit .091 in his last six games with only 2 hits in 24 at-bats. Overall this season, his batting average stands at .222 with a slugging percentage of only .377. He has been a mere shell of his former self this season.
The Mets brought in Moises Alou to replace the oft-injured Cliff Floyd this off-season. However, he has now spent more time on the DL than Cliff Floyd had during the same period last year. Given Alou’s age (41), what should have been a 2 week stint on the DL has now approaching 4 weeks, and there is still no clear date for his return. He recently had fluid drained from his strained quad, but still is in pain. He hasn’t appeared in a game since May 12th.
Shawn Green had been the Mets’ most consistent hitter this season before going down with a broken foot. He was hitting .314 with 5 home runs and 22 RBI while batting mostly from the number 7 spot in the order. Unfortunately for the Mets, his career long run of avoiding the DL finally came to an end. Luckily, he should be ready to join the team soon, and is expected to be activated this Sunday. Green has certainly become an important fixture in the lineup and his return will provide a nice lift offensively.
Jose Valentin has already missed over a month of the season after tearing the ACL in his knee. Valentin may have only been the number 8 hitter on the team, but make no mistake that his absence from the lineup has adversely impacted the team. On defense, Valentin was a steady presence with his surprising range and his ability to make a diving catch and deny opposing batters of a base hit. Offensively, he was able to give the Mets a lift whenever they needed a clutch hit. He is currently playing in some rehab games and could be ready to return today.
Endy Chavez and Damion Easley are both set to join the walking wounded as each of them go for an MRI today. Both are expected to go on the DL, weakening an already weakened team. All of this becomes more accentuated because none of the regulars seem willing to carry the load.
Nobody expected the Mets to go an entire season without any significant injuries. However, the Mets have had more than their fair share of breaks, tears, and bruises so far this season. The fact that they lead the division and have one of the best records in the league, is a testament to how good this team really is.
If and when the Mets do get 100% healthy, watch out!
The Mets have now made it a Shea Stadium tradition to play BTO’s "Takin’ Care Of Business" after each Mets victory.
I would like to nominate another song from Bachman Turner Overdrive as a tribute to the 2007 Mets season thus far…
You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet!