With the horrendous 1-5 road trip the Mets just finished, a trip to the DL by John Maine and a possible one to follow for Billy Wagner (following a spectacularly bad performance on Saturday), there’s not much to be excited by in Metville these days, or so you would think judging by the doomsday reports spewing forth by media and fandom alike.
It’s been a terrible week, to be sure, a week that would’ve been tolerable and possibly quite good if only there wasn’t the requisite every-coupla-weeks implosion by the bullpen as well as the firing-on-one-cylinder (and that’s being generous) Mets offense. This team has been a rollercoaster all season, and the highs of the ten-game winning streak (hell, all of July, really) has now ebbed to a current four-game losing streak, including a three in a row to the Astros, a team that is not particularly all that impressive. Back during the doldrums of Willie’s last days, I yearned for some new blood, saying I’d rather see some scrubs and youngsters brought up to play with some hunger and fight than a group of talented multimillionaires play lazily and uninspired. If my team has to lose, I’d rather the former.
It’s the beginning of August, and the Mets are three games behind a Philly team whose lily looks less gilded than it did a year ago (as well as half a game behind the terrifyingly mystifyingly tough Florida Marlins). The Mets have made up ground thanks to some also-rans like Fernando Tatis, the re-emergence of Carlos Delgado, and young guns like Mike Pelfrey living up to their potential. It may seem like an inopportune time, but the increased play of some new blood–Nick Evans, Argenis Reyes, and this weekend’s call ups of Daniel Murphy and Eddie Kunz (studly, the both of them)–provided some excitement for this fan during the weekend, especially considering the way the overall games went. Small pleasures, I know, but Murphy’s Endy impersonation and Kunz working through jitters for a scoreless inning were appreciated not just as additions to this current roster but as an appetizer for what’s to come. I’m not worried about this team simply because of where they stand with two months left, doing much of it with frequent flier miles to the DL, and because, well, if 2008 isn’t meant to be then it isn’t meant to be (and with the way things have gone this season, I wouldn’t be surprised either way). But to see what we may have in store for the future right now (and possibly the near future, as Omar has hinted possible call-ups for Jonathon Niese and Fernando Martinez as well) is a pretty little silver lining, a nice carrot to keep us going, and some other lame metaphor in contrast to an otherwise lousy week of baseball.