Four games, 52 runs scored, 69 hits, only three of which were home runs – all hit in a single game and two of those were grand slams.
As Casey Stengel meant to tell us all those many years ago, “The Mets are amazin’.”
Every cylinder of the offense is firing, the pitchers are unfettered by miniscule leads or any kind of deficits, the bullpen is getting rest, the dugout is happy and the sun is shining brighter. It’s been awhile since a stretch like this – five years, to be exact – and I’d forgotten what the feeling is like. The true orange ‘n’ blue in me doesn’t want to trust it, can scarcely believe what I’m seeing. Right now, there’s a pride in this team among its fans which has been missing since 2006. In 2007, there was five-and-a-half months of hubris/entitlement/arrogance and by the end of September…well, seven up with seventeen to play. 2008 was a miniature version of the year before – with the character flaws remaining entrenched. 2009 and 2010 was a deadly mix of bad luck and bad management. The fan base was flattened, the club ridiculed, the ownership in tatters. Enter Sandy Alderson, Paul DePodesta, J. P. Ricciardi and Terry Collins. Even in the face of injuries to two of their major offensive cogs, the 2011 edition seems to have pulled together in a way that those previous squads wouldn’t or couldn’t.
We as fans are starting to salivate, thinking of the day when David Wright returns from his broken back – and what a metaphor that is – and Ike Davis’s dented shinbone appears less catastrophic, but for now, Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, Jason Bay and a bunch of guys named “Joe” are shooting line drives through any hole available. The names are Angel Pagan, Daniel Murphy, Ronny Paulino – a former Met antagonist in the gold and black of the Pirates – Ruben Tejada, Justin Turner and Jason Pridie. This band of merry men has taken wins from the defending American League champions and the leaders of the American League Central and given the fans thrills they weren’t expecting until 2013 or so. It’s beyond fun.
Now, this could all turn to dust at any minute, just as it arose from nowhere – the baseball gods giveth, the baseball gods taketh away: just ask the Florida Marlins. By the end of August, we fans could be left with no Beltran, no Reyes, no Francisco Rodriguez and only a few more wins than we have right now: in 2010 at this point in the season, the Mets were 44-34 before they basically went oh-for-July. We could still end up looking longingly at 2013.
But for now, I’m going to savor the play of Carlos, Jose and the other guys.
(PS – Since David Einhorn dropped his deuce on the Wilpons on May 26, the Mets have gone 18-14. I’m just sayin’…)