All it takes is one win, and I’m down off the ledge. The fact is, the Mets are nearly certain to play better in their next 8 games (and most stretches of 8 games this season) than they did in these past 8.
There are still reasons to think the Mets can turn this around. The pitching will simply not be this bad all season. If Jon Niese, Chris Capuano and Mike Pelfrey have ERA’s of 6.88, 7.53 and 1 billion (Pelfrey), you have to imagine they will not be in the rotation for the whole season. Angel Pagan is not going to hit .169 this season and if Brad Emaus hit .162, he will be replaced with someone who can hit higher than .162. Jason Bay should be back soon, as will Ronny Paulino, improving the offense and the bench.
Currently, nobody on this team, save Willie Harris, is playing a lot better than you could expect them to over the course of the season. Jose Reyes has been very good, but not out of the Reyesphere. Ike Davis has also hit very well, but it’s not like an .848 OPS is out of the question for Ike. Besides, he’s only hit one home run. I’m guessing he’ll end up with more than the 10 dingers he’s currently on pace for. None of David Wright, Carlos Beltran, Josh Thole or Daniel Murphy have played particularly well.
But there are more reasons to be hopeful than luck turning the Mets way. Jose Reyes, after failing to draw a walk in his first 7 games (which I can only imagine led to walks-obsessed Sandy Alderson putting out a contract on Jose’s life), has walked 4 times in his last nine game. Reyes has been fantastic. To my eyes, his defense has been pretty good, and he’s stolen 6 bases without being caught. Also worth noting: Angel Pagan has the 4th highest walk-rate among CFs, and Ike Davis has continued drawing walks at an excellent rate. Don’t be fooled by the record, Mets fans: This is not an ultimately sunk ship.
There are also rays of sunlight peaking from the minor league system, particularly in the forms of pitchers Matt Harvey, Jennry Mejia, Jeurys Familia and Brad Holt. I keep wanting to refer to these guys at Generation K V. 2.0, the healthier, more Dominican and just as tough to spell sequel, but then I realize that’s a bad idea and…well. Harvey has dominated A+, as has Familia. Mejia has pitched very well in AAA and Brad Holt, once a top prospect whose career has fallen apart, has pitched 12 shutout innings at AA. This begs the question, “What if the Mets had a bunch of good pitching prospects.” Combined with Jon Niese and Dillon Gee, the Mets all of a sudden just might have a crop of good young arms. Go figure.
To be certain, there is bad news too. David Wright, after looking more like the David Wright of 2007 for the first few games, now looks like the David Wright who strikes out every other at bat. Bobby Parnell looks horrible and of course, the starting pitching is a mess. But that’s no reason to assess the situation as dire. The future still looks brighter than the present, and the present still looks brighter than the past.