The Mets got off to a poor start in 2011: The bullpen looked pretty bad and the starting pitching was struggling. The weather was cold and rainy and they couldn’t buy a clutch hit. Over the last month the Mets have made some roster tweaks and been faced with some injuries, but they’ve also played pretty well.
They are 9-6 in May. They are 16-11 since the seven game losing streak that was over a month ago. If they were to continue at that 16-11 pace they’d actually end up winning 91 games. It’s not a torrid pace in any way, but they win more than they lose. They keep themselves in games, and by extension, in playoff races.
It is probably unrealistic to expect the Mets to continue this pace without David Wright and Ike Davis, but there are a lot of other things not going the Mets way either. Will Jason Bay ever start hitting? Will Justin Turner, Daniel Murphy, or a year older Ruben Tejada provide adequate production for a stretch while the other Mets are on the mend? Will Dickey pitch better, get a better grip on the knuckleball as the weather warms up, and at least keep the Mets in the games? Did Mike Pelfrey get his “one bad month” out of the way in April this year?
There are also many unknowns. I don’t buy into speculation about what the Mets are going to do, rosterwise, with this team. Personally I’d be more shocked of Reyes was traded than if he wasn’t. Alderson has to recognize how good Reyes is, how hard it is to find a good shortstop, and how much the fans love him. Alderson has also claimed that he’ll be able to do what needs to be done around the trading deadline to add players, and the potential for the Mets to get better there exists. Then there is Johan Santana recovering from his capsule tear. It’s unrealistic to rely on him coming back, but that doesn’t mean we can’t hope and wonder. He’s on track for recovery now to return in July or August. Whatever the chances are that he doesn’t experience any setbacks, the possibility that you could add a pitcher of his talent and intelligence to a rotation in September is enough to make me smile.
The Mets look and feel like a team. They’re probably not the best team or most talented team in the league, but lately they’ve been winning games, playing good defense, getting some hits when they need them and capitalizing on mistakes made by the other clubs. No team looks all-powerful in the league and if the Mets can continue playing good baseball, get guys healthy, and make some good roster moves there is no reason why they can’t remain competitive all season.
Maybe they’ll even hit a grand slam.