Happy first day of summer to all Met Nation.
We are actually talking about a very good summer where the Mets are concerned. This team is alive and vibrant and ‘returning home’ after a 7-2 road trip. The 2 losses to the Yankees notwithstanding, this road trip was a huge success. It improved the standing of the club in the standings, and may have actually assisted in making believers out of ownership, the front office, the players and we fans.
Yes, Met Nation, this team can win and win now. And as Jenrry Mejia begins his jaunt to ‘AA’ Binghamton to refine his repertoire, we fans must begin to believe that there are possibilities that exist that none of us anticipated after a 4-8 start. Just as my colleague Rob Silverman (Tie Dyed) wrote in his great article last week, “Ya Gotta Believe”…
So without fanfare and with my optimistic, rose colored glasses on, I’ve tried to formulate some reasons why we should believe…
1. David Wright is David Wright again - After nearly a full season of struggles young Mr. Wright seems to be returning to form. We have all been critical of Wright’s inability to adjust to the confines of Citi Field and get over last seasons’ beaning. Reasons given for his power outage and lateness getting to fastballs seem to have dissipated. Rather than run through all the reasons why, I’ll stick to this mentality. I don’t care what happened with Wright for the last year, as long as he returns to form now when the Mets need him to be successful.
2. Jose Reyes is Jose Reyes again - After last seasons injury debacle and this springs’ thyroid issue, Reyes is back. He’s creating havoc on the base paths, He’s hitting again, He’s playing excellent defense. The Met record when Jose is playing well is no fluke. There has been discussions and articles earlier this season of who the Met catalyst is, who is ”the straw that stirs the drink” so to speak. Discussions and articles need to end. As Jose goes, so go the Mets…After nearly a year off due to injury, this guy is showing the baseball world why he was held in such esteem as a dynamic player. The Met won/loss record and winning percentage when he performs to the level of his considerable talent is off the charts.
3. Depth and youth - All the ‘minor’ moves Omar Minaya made this winter to increase depth are paying off, all at little cost. Chris Carter is a good bat off the bench, The two catchers, Barajas and Blanco have been good. The younger kids have grown up more quickly than we all believed possible. Ike Davis, and Ruben Tejada have stamped themselves as integral pieces for the future and here and now. If Davis hadn’t been ready, we’d be seeing recurring themes why the Mets should trade for Derek Lee or Paul Konerko etc. Tejada’s defense is above average and MLB quality. Where would the Mets be without Mr. Angel Pagan?
4. Pitching depth and youth - Where would this team be without Hisanori Takahashi and RA Dickey? How about fighting with Washington for last place in a tight division. Jon Niese, after his injury, started throwing his curveball, and mixing his pitches with excellent results. His game against the Padres, and his more recent starts and stuff, have stamped him as nearly untouchable. In the ‘Pen, the Mets have gotten sporadic contributions from unlikely sources like Manny Acosta, Fernando Nieve, Raul Valdes, etc. That’s not to say those pitchers mentioned will be given Cy Young consideration like Michael Pelfrey, but each has contributed. Without starting and relief help though, they all may become overexposed.
And the last reason why the Mets can win is because the Mets can:
5. Add Payroll - The money’s there, and it should be. This team has the chips to get any pitching help they need- Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating dealing for a broken down 35 or 36 year old pitcher or an inflated contract to bring help to the rotation or bullpen, but in the right deal for the right combination of players I am saying the Mets can get a borderline elite starter and serviceable bullpen help. It’s needed. We can win. A great pennant race in the summer heat. Treasure it Met Nation…