Thursday, June 16, 2011

Mets a .500 team? Almost sounds amazing.

      Terry Collins issued a guarantee to begin this season. The Mets were going to play baseball the right way. And then everyone laughed. The team got off to a horrible start, mired by shoddy defense, shoddy base running, and horrible give-away at bats. Jason Bay started the year on the DL. Angel Pagan who got off to a horrible start ended up on the DL (with the now becoming designer injury - oblique strain). Ike Davis, one of the lone bright spots on the team, made his way to the DL. David Wright is god knows where. Fred Wilpon told us exactly what he thought about his team, coinciding with the team bringing in David Einhorn as their new minority owner to bring in some much needed cash. Those who predicted the Mets would win 70 were looking generous.

       Last night, the Mets entered play a game under .500. With all things considered, that may just be considered an accomplishment. What happened exactly? We can start with Jose Reyes having an MVP start to this season. He's leading the league in average and in hits. He's been stellar at shortstop. And (knock on wood Met fans), he's stayed healthy. Odd that this would happen in his walk year...Carlos Beltran is playing baseball again. And he's played fairly well both offensively and defensively. His announcement that he was willing to slide over to right has done a lot to lessen his load and keep him fresher. Justin Turner and David Murphy have come in and sparked the team. Turner has filled in well at third base while doing a great job driving in runs. Murphy has bat close to .300 and was actually moved into the cleanup slot. He's shown his versatility moving to third for a few games when Turner was resting a sore thumb. Angel Pagan has come off the DL and picked right back up where he left off last season. Playing great defense, hitting over .300 and stealing a few bags. Last but not least, the Mets pitching staff has been great for the most part. Most wondered who would actually line up to pitch following Mike Pelfrey and R.A Dickey with Johan Santana out until god knows when. But Jonathan Niese, Chris Capuano, and Dillon Gee have been the backbones of the Mets rotation, Gee especially with his 7-0 start.

         Terry Collin's guarantee may have drawn a lot of laughs early on, but it's been no laughing matter since. Should the Mets keep this up, they may actually contend for the Wild Card this season. That is of course a huge "If". Besides Franky Rodriguez in the pen, the Mets bullpen is wildly inconsistent. They've yet to get anything out of Bay. There's no telling when Ike or Wright will be back. The Mets are also in an era of rebuilding. Carlos Beltran, David Wright, Jose Reyes, and the aforementioned Rodriguez can all be gone by the trade deadline. But one thing is for sure. So far, they have been the team most fun to watch in New York this season thus far.

Daniel Mazler
Twitter- @Dmazzle

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