Now that the Ollie Perez fiasco has been placed up on the shelf, the Mets can start concentrating on more important things like winning baseball games. Since June 1st, the Mets have won seven of nine with their two losses coming against the San Diego Padres.
Aside from their left-fielder, Jason Bay, the Mets’ offense has shown more consistency of late and has managed to drive runners in when in scoring position. In David Wright’s last six games, he has hit 10-for-20. Jose Reyes has followed suit as well by going 8-for-17 in his last four games. Angel Pagan has been a pleasant surprise by hitting safely in seven of his last eleven games. And Jeff Francoeur has raised his average from its lowest point of .212 back on May 17th to a reasonable .266.
However, it’s been the pitching that has seemingly guided this Mets team back on the right track. After undergoing major restructuring, Mets starters have been able to give their teammates at least a fighting chance by producing strong and dependable outings over the previous two weeks.
In the last two nights alone, rookie left-hander Jon Niese and veteran knuckleballer R.A. Dickey have outlasted their counterparts earning themselves two much-deserved victories. In Thursday night’s game, the southpaw pitched a one-hit complete game shutout while the elder Dickey completed seven very strong innings that saw eight Orioles batters go down on strikes. The right-hander upped his record to 4-0 and lowered his earned run average to 2.78.
Looking at the glass half-empty though, the Mets still have not won a series on the road, cross your fingers; the Orioles are not very good. Their ace, Johan Santana, still has not found that much-needed run support, and the bullpen, well, let’s just say, Mets fans could take it or leave it.
If Mets fans were feeling any doubt that the current situation surrounding this team was not on the up-and-up, just refer to their manager. Jerry Manuel was asked if he had anything new to add regarding the return of his Gold Glove centerfield, Carlos Beltran.
“I think if this trip would have maybe come a week later, I think we could have possibly DH’d him,” Manuel said.