Jose Reyes looked like he was a juggling a ball and auditioning for a circus act in the seventh inning at Citi Field Friday night. The Mets shortstop caught a blooped ball hit by the Angels’ Ben Revere to shallow center but it was an adventure because it was bobbled. Enough said, because if that play doesn’t go that way it may have led to another loss.
But it saved the best game of the season that was pitched by Jacob deGrom. Did it save the Mets season, probably not with so many games to play. However the Mets have been accustomed to plays going the wrong way and this was one that finally went to them. Relief for the struggling Reyes, manager Terry Collins and his team.
And it was relief that also played a role in the Mets breaking a seven-game losing streak and before the home fans, a majority who have their doubts and some who remain positive and were relieved after a struggling bullpen got the job done.
After a devastating 0-6 road trip, not done in 18 years, a juggling act from the shortstop that went their way is a welcome reprieve.
“That ball drops in the last seven days for sure,” manager Terry Collins said about the play that looked to be a hit for Revere. The manager was referring to the plays that should have been and other factors the past week, which also included a meltdown by the bullpen that had the Mets limping home seven games under .500 and sinking fast in their division.
And it is plays like this, plus the 7.0 innings from starter Jacob deGrom that the Mets hope can begin to turn things around with a 3-0 win, their second shutout of the season.
“We’ve got to get our pitching moving forward,”Collins said. “We didn’t break camp with imagination. These guys are legit and we’ve got to get them right so as we head into the big months of summer that we know what we got and those guys are pitching like they can.”
And this was Jacob deGrom that the Mets need. For the first time this season a Mets pitcher went past seven innings and for a change the bullpen did not implode. However, and as GM Sandy Alderson said before game time, Matt Harvey has to come up big again. There is also hope that Steven Matz and Seth Lugo are closer to returning to the rotation as they are continuing rehab assignments.
Collins does look like a manager looking for answers, He got that Friday night because deGrom gave his team innings, enough that the righthander could be seen talking his manager out of lifting him when a minor blister showed up on a finger. The Mets don’t need another casualty and need more games like the one deGrom pitched.
As for Reyes, he had the proper words that Mets fans wanted to hear. That play wasn’t a season turning point but in baseball one play sometimes does show that the baseball Gods are back on the bandwagon.
“We can take something from this and play the way we are supposed to play,” he said.
One would think this was a season turning point, and with a season that is in peril it could be. However this is much too early for anyone to determine that one play will change things around, and the fault basically revolves around the injuries and seeing this promising pitching staff sink to the lowest ERA in the National League.
The Mets need Harvey to pitch. They need their ace, Noah Syndergaard to mend properly and a healthy Yoenis Cespedes who could be back soon. Alderson would not commit to any changes and for the moment Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith will remain in Las Vegas. The reinforcements will come when the walking wounded return.
The winning and getting back in the race, with plenty of time to do that, can come if they remain healthy as Michael Conforto continues to play like an all-star. But one win like this and one play by Reyes has to lead to confidence that the manager always has with this team.
“We really needed a win bad,” Collins said after managing his 1,012 game with the Mets that tied Davey Johnson for the most in franchise history.
“This one was big,” he said. No bigger than what is ahead and that is trying to get this team back in the race.
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