Here’s the beauty of sports: Things change in a week. One week, you can be bad.
Next week, you can be great. In other words, you are not great as you are, and you are not as bad as you are.
The Mets started the week by firing Chili Davis as Mets hitting coach and Tom Slater as Mets assistant hitting coach after a 6-5 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals Monday night at Busch Stadium. It was a move to provide a wake-up jolt to the players after the Mets went 11-12 after 23 games.
As we start the new week, the Mets are on a five-game winning streak after a 4-2 victory Sunday afternoon at Citi Field that resulted in a three-game sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Talk about a much-needed reset here. The Mets are in first place with a 16-13 record.
Did anyone think that would have been possible just two weeks ago when the Mets struggled to generate offense against the Boston Red Sox that resulted in being swept in two games?
Go ahead and discuss whether or not Davis and Slater deserved to be fired if you want. There’s no argument the firing provided results right away with the Mets going 5-1. The impact was what Mets owner Steve Cohen and Mets president of baseball operations Sandy Alderson wanted to see.
The Mets scored 25 runs and amassed 38 hits since Hugh Quattlebaum became the new hitting coach and Kevin Howard became the new assistant hitting coach. Message delivered.
Here’s what to like about the Mets during this winning streak: They are taking better at-bats. They are fouling off pitches and not swinging and guessing at every pitch. Look at Francisco Lindor. He got a hit on Thursday, and he followed it up by hitting a two-run, home run on Friday night that tied the game at 4 in the seventh inning. For good measure, he had a double, an RBI, and scored on a throwing error after a stolen base in the Mets’ 4-2 victory over the Diamondbacks Saturday night.
Maybe the Mets would have figured it out at the plate as the calendar turned to May. They couldn’t be any worse than they showed in April. Cohen felt a change was necessary to get this team going now, and he did it. Patience doesn’t have to be a virtue sometimes.
Who knows where all this goes? Things change in sports every week, especially in football and baseball. For all the good things the Mets did, it could change by the end of next week. In other words, it’s going to take more than a week to think the Mets got themselves in a groove.
This is where even-keel comes to play. This is where trusting the process makes sense as annoying as it sounds.
The Mets could use a run here. They face a beatable Baltimore Orioles team to complete a short homestand this week followed by going to St. Petersburg to play the Tampa Bay Rays for a three-game set. With the Atlanta Braves on the schedule next week, they could use this week to make hay in the standings.
Give the players credit for not panicking. They kept working through the process, and for one week, it paid off.
The Mets managed to stay afloat in the standings because of their starting pitching and their bullpen. The pitching put the Mets position to win games, and for a week, the offense is executing. If the offense can do its job, the Mets should be in a good position to win the National League East.
The Mets have a sure thing in Jacob deGrom, who left the game on Sunday after experiencing tightness in his right side. Taijuan Walker and Marcus Stroman keep producing quality starts. Noah Syndergaard could be back by the summer.
Mets closer Edwin Diaz is pitching like he can be trusted this season after grinding out a five-out save to preserve Sunday’s Mets win. Miguel Castro and Trevor May showed they can handle the load every day. With Seth Lugo coming soon, the bullpen should be even better.
It comes down to hitting right now. That’s odd to say in a sense there were questions about the pitching to start the season with the hitting being a sure thing. But with the hitters’ track record, they know they will get it going. This past week demonstrated hope.
It could be an interesting summer after all from what we saw in this five-game winning streak or it could be a mirage by the end of the week.
No wonder there are 162 games in a baseball season; things change weekly.
Maybe Mets fans should enjoy it for what it is in a long season.
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