Monday, July 12, 2010

At the Mid-Point of the Season, Mets Fans Can Only Be Surprised

If you’re able to imagine back-to-back postponed games, followed by an off-day, then you will have no problem sitting through the next three days devoid of your favorite team, the New York Mets.

As Mike Pelfrey and Johan Santana head towards different ends of the spectrum, we mustn’t forget the unexpected surprises that were unleashed by this Mets ballclub during the last three-and-half months.

One that comes to mind is the performance of centerfielder Angel Pagan. At the plate, in the outfield or heck, on the base paths, the 29-year-old Pagan has been on-point. Playing in 80 of the Mets 87 games, Pagan has used his speed and athleticism to track down fly balls and swipe 19 bases. Batting .315 heading into the break, he is currently atop the team leaders in hits (94), doubles (17), triples (6), runs batted in (40), and runs scored (49).

Off-the-field, Pagan’s name has been mentioned on a daily basis due to the pending reunion of a certain Mets Gold Glove centerfielder.

On the pitching front for the Mets, the steady emergence of one of the most unlikely of heroes is veteran right-hander R.A. Dickey. Owning a won-lost record of 6-2, the crafty knuckleballer has confidently portrayed himself as the quintessential engine that could.

Brought up to reinforce a beleaguered starting rotation on May 19th, Dickey started off brilliantly capturing a 6-0 record in seven starts. Although his last three outings have produced two losses in which he has allowed 20 hits and 11 runs in 18.2 innings, his last performance on July 9th against the Braves has been his most disappointing to date. Dickey surrendered back-to-back home runs that broke a 2-2 tie which proved to be all the scoring the Braves would need in nailing down the victory.

“There’s so many things outside of your control that you really don’t know if that was your last shot. So you can tell yourself a million times over that you’re going to get another opportunity, but the reality is that may not happen,” Dickey has said.

With the Mets falling victim to back-to-back series losses at Citi Field before the break, a place that has given Mets fans nothing but good times, Dickey’s sentiment can be seen as the rallying cry for the orange-and-blue and their fans during the second half of the season.

For now, it’s time to enjoy the highs and continue to act surprised as the opportunities present themselves.

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