From Left Field: Late Inning Comebacks Nice, But We Need Some Killer Instinct
It’s funny how the two players that we all figure will be traded by the end of the season—Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran—are carrying the New York Mets.
After Reyes’ go-ahead triple Tuesday night, Beltran came through with a game-tying double off Kameron Loe in the eighth inning last night.
However, it hasn’t just been Reyes and Beltran coming through in clutch situations.
Despite the tough loss, first-time cleanup hitter Angel Pagan had the go-ahead hit last night and maintains his 100 percent success rate at driving in a runner from third base with less than two outs. The same can’t be said for Jason Bay, however, who really needs to figure himself out at the plate.
Ronny Paulino has a big night as well, finishing 4-for-4 with a three-run homer.
However, last night’s bullpen implosion was a bad sign. The bullpen put together a few good performances, but eradicated those efforts yesterday.
If the team wants to put together a winning streak more than three games, the Mets will have to develop more killer instinct. For example, Paulino’s home run gave the Mets some needed insurance in the eighth, but the bullpen gave the lead up instantaneously.
A team with killer instinct would have found a way to get through the bottom of eighth and might have even tacked on a few more runs in the ninth.
Though most of the team’s recent wins have been tightly contested games most of the way, the Mets have shown they have a little fight in them.
While the team is still three games under .500, they have shown that they refuse to give up under Terry Collins. In previous seasons when the Mets fell behind, the game was basically over.
Last night’s loss is tough to swallow, but the signs are pointing in the right direction in this team. Tonight’s game will be a good test to see how they can respond.
The team has had some gritty performances late in games, but it has still come up on the negative side in many of those games.
If they can reverse this trend and start winning these tight games, the Mets might turn some doubters into believers. They will need to do this consistently, however.
If this is the case, Reyes, Beltran and even Francisco Rodriguez may all stick around for the remainder for the season. It may not be the most ideal situation based on trying to shed some payroll, but if the team has a legitimate chance of making the playoffs, it has to go for it.
Either way, New York Mets baseball is once again exciting. I’m a believer, are you?
About the Author: Jim Mancari
Jim Mancari hails from Massapequa, N.Y. He recently earned a Master's degree in Journalism at Hofstra University. He is a devout Mets fan and takes pride in his team, despite their lack of success over the last few years. Like all Mets fans, Jim has plenty of hope. He also writes as the sports reporter for the Brooklyn Tablet newspaper and the senior editor of metroBASEBALL Magazine. Click my name to view my personal website.
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