“The Mets most flawless effort of the season” is how SNY commentator Keith Hernandez described tonight’s 8-0 beatdown of the Cheesesteaks. Coming off an emotional defeat of the Yankees to climax the subway series, the Mets parlayed their newfound competence into a complete victory over their rivals.
Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey confounded the Philie hitters with the fluttering motion of his pitchers all night long. Dickey’s seven effortless shutout innings was an unexpected shot in the arm for the Mets. Hisanori Takahashi goes tomorrow following his terrific debut as a Mets starter. Suddenly two consecutive starters come out of nowhere to give some excitement to the back end of the rotation. Overnight the mood of the team changes.
The Mets seem to have a fragile psyche this season. As I’ve harped upon, no leader has emerged to stabilize the clubhouse after consecutive losses. David Wright has not made the transition from the eager-eyed young player to the steady veteran that calms his teammates and makes them laugh. At least that’s the impression given by his histrionics at the plate after striking out. But this is a broken record for anyone reading this blog.
More games like tonight however will empower and embolden the Met hitters. Maybe Jason Bay continues to get hot, or Wright sparks up his bat, but the more likely scenario is that the offense will run through different players on different nights.
But perhaps more than anything the one factor that can give the Mets continuity is Jose Reyes returning to form. Back in the leadoff spot where he belongs, wreaking havoc on the basepaths, its no coincidence the Mets are 15-4 when Jose scores a run this season. Reyes on base makes life easier for hitters 2-9; he needs to continue to spike Mets games with his herky jerky energy, dropping those perfect bunts, stealing bags and smacking those gap-seeking triples to the wall, like he did tonight.
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Written by Mark Reichman