The big and bad offensive-minded Tigers came to town and were lucky to emerge with one win out of three. The Mets had an answer for just about everything the Tigers could throw at them.
Slugfest? We can do slugfest, as the Mets outpunched Les Tigres 14-6 in game 1. Dominant pitching? The dancing knuckleball of R.A. Dickey provided exactly that in the 5-0 game 2. And tonight the Mets very nearly came back from a 6-1 deficit, clawing their way back into the game and turning a snoozefest into a close contest, causing the Tigers to chew through their bullpen as well as their fingernails in what ended up a 6-5 Tiger win.
The Mets have proven to be a confident, fundamentally sound squad that can beat an opponent in multiple ways. This Tigers series shows they have nothing to fear, not even a big lead.
Number one reason for the Mets suddenly turning the corner? Gotta look to Jose Reyes, who has been that ubiquitous game-changing pest on the basepaths. Its no coincidence that the Mets have the best record in baseball since he reclaimed his rightful leadoff spot on May 15. He got on board in the first inning every game against the Tigers, flashed his power and speed, and just looked confident swinging the bat. This is the Jose Reyes that strikes fear into the hearts of opponents, and takes pressure off the rest of the lineup.
And David Wright is suddenly doing some bashing of his own, now leading the NL in RBIs.
So the Mets appear to be a legitimate playoff contender, just a game behind the Braves, entering this weekend’s set up in Minneapolis vs. the Twins. Things really could not be better at this point…right now it looks like the Amazins will keep the petal to the metal coming into the All Star Break, and that’s all any fan can ask for, that this latest well-oiled efficient version of the Mets sticks around indefinitely.
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Written by Mark Reichman