One week ago: “I need to get better. I need to get on base and score.”
One week ago on May 22, the Mets were in the midst of a tough road trip, facing top shelf teams on their respective home turfs. The Mets were going into Boston with a 4-6 record over their last ten games. The Mets found themselves in second place looking a game and a half up at the Philthies. The Mets clearly needed Jose Reyes to return to the field healthy. They needed him to spark the offense. We needed his “Reyes Runs”. We needed him to get in the head of the opposing pitchers. The Mets had called up Ramon Martinez to fill in, and he looked as if he had lost his ability to field the ball cleanly. The Mets had their backs against the wall and their pants were down.
Present Day: “Do they even need me?”
The New York Mets are in first place. What? They sit a half game over the Phillies. What?!?
The Mets have clawed their way to the top, having won four straight games, going 6-4 over their last ten. Ramon Martinez’s defense has come back to form, and word around the campfire is that Alex Cora is foregoing surgery to come back to the team next week to sure up our defense further. Angel Pagan has been tearing it up in the leadoff spot with five hits and six walks in the last week. Many of the holes that were left on the team when Jose Reyes got hurt have begun to be filled in by others.
I can’t help but imagine that this is eating at Jose. Why he is still in that dugout is beyond me. Ryan Church has already left the team to begin rehabbing. Reyes is slated to go down to Florida after this weekend’s series against the Marlins. Could this be the Mets plot to instill some humbleness in Jose? It’s been obvious to Mets fans who have seen Jose in the dugout over the last week that Reyes is aware of his diminished importance over this past week.
Losing Delgado and Reyes (and Church) and to a small degree Beltran (and almost K-Rod) (phew), appeared to be start of a Mets apocalypse. Certain doom was upon us. However, in the last week, this team has shown chemistry and guile. The ability to scratch out wins. The Mets have gotten it done.
But make no mistake. This team is overachieving at this point. The Mets cannot maintain their current steam. The Mets need a healthy Reyes in this lineup, on the basepaths and manning the left side of that infield. The Mets will need Delgado’s power bat to return midseason to pick this team up.
When Jose returns, though, will he return with humility? Will he have a newfound respect for the concept of ‘team’? Will Jose Reyes become a more complete player after this hiatus?
Time will certainly tell.