After Tuesday night’s victory over the Braves, I (and a surprisingly large group of Mets fans) as reinvigorated and felt as though the Mets could pull themselves back into the NL East race. Well, after a miserable loss last night it appears that by the end of this weekend, those hopes could be completely dashed.
Coming into this week, Kevin Burkhardt tweeted that the Mets players knew their season was on the line this week. Well, half of this week’s games are over, and thus far the Mets have lost 1 game in the division and .5 games in the wild card. Next, the Mets go to Philadelphia, and while the Phillies have been hit by a string of injuries, they’ve still managed to keep winning. Without Utley and Howard, and Polanco out for a while, the Phillies are still just 2 games out of the division.
A win yesterday would have put the Mets just 5.5 games behind the Braves, and just 3.5 behind the Phillies. Instead, we’re a game farther back, and tied with the Marlins for 4th place. The more I watch, the more I believe that this team is exactly what we are seeing. They aren’t the team from June, that team apparently was overachieving. But a part of me refuses to sit here and think that the Mets are THIS bad.
But honestly, it’s tiring. Watching a team like this that has talent, and just plays….terribly…isn’t fun for the fans. The 2010 Mets, to quote ex-NFL Coach Denny Green “are who we thought they were”. No one came into 2010 expecting the Mets to be as good as they appeared in June. In fact, the only reason their record was as good as it was was to good hot streaks. The Mets are a .500 or so team, and the fans know that (whether they’re ready to admit it or not).
Is there light at the end of the tunnel? I’d say yes. A Mets source says that the team is open to a long term extension with Jose Reyes. It will have to wait until the winter, but the team is at least somewhat interested in making sure that the first of the two homegrown core players is here for the long run. David Wright has said he wants to spend his career here (and hopefully the failures of the past few years haven’t changed his mind), and so, if he is resigned after his current contract ends in 2013 and Reyes is resigned as well, the Mets will maintain one of the best left sides of an infield in the Majors. There is promise in Jon Niese, and even Mike Pelfrey(should he ever right himself). The farm system is slowly being built up with prospects like Kirk Niewenhuis, Wilmer Flores, Jenrry Mejia, etc. Over the next year and a half the Mets will likely cut ties with many of their albatrosses (Jerry Manuel, Luis Castillo, Oliver Perez, Jeff Francoeur, and maybe even Omar Minaya).
The Mets will not contend for the playoffs in 2010, that much I’m confident in. And they probably won’t be Championship contenders in 2011 either. But the Mets have a (slightly less than) middle of the pack farm system and a solid core of Reyes, Wright, Santana, Beltran, Niese, and Pagan locked up for the foreseeable future(assuming Reyes is resigned). There’s plenty of holes that need to be filled around them, but for some irrational reason I still believe in the future of the Mets. I believe that there will be a plan. I believe that the team will eventually climb back to the top of the National League. I think a lot of Met fans have this same irrational belief.
But that’s because we’re Mets fans, and 37 years ago fan favorite Tug McGraw told us something that rings true to this day: Ya Gotta Believe!