Maybe, it’s time to believe if you are the New York Mets.
Maybe, 2014 is not a wash and the team will make a run of it.
And that’s a big maybe.
The 7-1 win over Henderson Alvarez and the Marlins makes the Mets 6-2 on this homestand and puts them now at 7 games under .500. Not the greatest of records, but a week ago, we were talking about a team fire sale with Bartolo Colon, Daniel Murphy and maybe even Jon Niese being shipped out at the trade deadline.
Now, that talk goes out the window. Sure Colon can still be shopped, but Niese and Murphy are going nowhere.
More importantly, though, these Mets have a chance to do something they never did under Terry Collins and that is to be a strong second half team. The usually formula of hope in April and May and despair in August and September can be a thing of the past this year if they can continue this hot consistent play over the next few months.
See, it’s not that the Mets are in a hot streak, it’s they are pounding some of the better pitchers in baseball. Yu Darvish, Julio Teheran and now Alvarez came away with three of the six losses for the opposition.
“We go out every night and try to compete,” Collins said. “We have seen Henderson really, really sharp and tonight he was not as sharp. That’s what you have to do when a guy is not on his game. You have to take advantage of it.”
More importantly, the Mets are looking like the fruits of their labors are coming true. Sandy Alderson looks smart by picking Lucas Duda over Ike Davis, while Travis d’Arnaud is starting to hit in the majors.
Zach Wheeler – now 5-8 – on the season is becoming much more consistent and tonight looks like the starter the Mets envisioned when he came up last season.
“He can get into a grove where his movement on his fastball can become balls,” Collins said. “So they laid off of some that they swung at last time, so he got himself into some deep counts. Zach showed you tonight that his stuff is good enough that he can throw it for strikes. He made his pitchers when he had to make them. He certainly pitched well tonight.”
So if Wheeler can become that ace with Dillon Gee, Niese and Jake deGrom, that Mets have a solid young rotation. Add Matt Harvey to it next year and look out.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Sure, the goal should be the playoffs, but maybe a better one should be – to take an old Fred Wilpon line – is to play meaning games in September and get over .500.
Then the fans will start to return. Win and everything will be better.
The pieces are there.