Last week, I wrote about the three keys to the Mets staking a claim to a playoff spot; continued excellence from the rotation and bullpen, a healthy Yoenis Cespedes and the difference-maker Jose Reyes.
I wrote: “The addition of Jose Reyes has given the team the speed and prototypical leadoff hitter they’ve lacked all year long and it’s made a big difference.”
Last night, during an exciting Mets win, that difference I spoke about was on full display when for the fifth time since being acquired, Reyes manufactured the critical game-tying run all on his own using his quick bat, keen instincts, and his game breaking speed. A month ago, the Mets don’t win that game, or the one in St. Louis for that matter.
In other words, if not for Reyes, there’s no Yo Show in the bottom of the tenth.
Reyes has not just sparked the offense with his burst of speed and energy, but he’s had the same effect in the clubhouse according manager Terry Collins.
“I talked to him the other day about taking a blow,” Collins said. “He said, ‘I’ve missed enough time already.’ The energy on the field, always having fun. The clubhouse – he’s a dynamic figure in that clubhouse. We’re lucky. We all certainly are glad he’s here. He’s a great teammate and I think he’s bringing something to our team, too.”
It’s all coming full circle for Reyes, who was never the same happy and enthusiastic player he was with the Mets once he moved onto the Marlins, Blue Jays and Rockies. He’s now back in Flushing, back home, back where he once was the most electrifying player in baseball.
And while he may have lost a half a step in speed, Reyes never once doubted that he could still be the catalyst he once was the last time he played on a playoff team – the 2006 Mets.
There were those who doubted him and many others who proclaimed him as done, finished, and dead as a door nail after he finished serving out his suspension for violating MLB’s domestic abuse policy.
Even Gary Cohen of SNY lamented that “Reyes wasn’t worth the headache” when the news broke the Mets were going to sign him, saying: “He has nothing left in the tank.”
But Reyes is making all his detractors eat a large heaping helping of crow because he has brought his team from the cusp of elimination and transformed them into a bona fide playoff contender that is just a hair away from a second consecutive post season berth.
“I never doubted my talent, what I could do on the field,” Reyes said. “A lot of people, before the Mets signed me, said, ‘This guy’s done’, and I heard that.” (NJ.com)
“I don’t try to put that kind of stuff in my head; I know what I can do as a player,” he said. “Like I said, I just need the opportunity to be on the field very single day … I’m not surprised because I’m a hard worker, working hard every day to try to get better in every aspect of my game.”