Despite expectations from that the Mets would be somewhere around a 70-win team this year, including doucheKay's even worse prediction, I still found myself extremely excited for the Mets season watching spring training games in March. I couldn't wait to see David Wright hit again for hopefully another full season, I missed Johan pitching, I dreamed of watching Dickey starts, I highly anticipated Ike's return, and I couldn't wait to watch players like Nieuwenhuis on a more regular basis.
As the Mets sit 46-39 record one game before the ASB, I can't help but feel extremely jovial throughout all of this, and I know I speak for a lot of other Mets fans.
I don't know where to begin with David Wright. In the past few years, many were describing Wright's fall from stardom, especially with the "a very good player. Not a superstar" comment, and some of them did indeed sound plausible. People started talking about the possibility of Wright being traded if the Mets would really not do so well this year, a prospect that really frightened me.
Well, he's not playing at an all-star level. Not "a very good player" level, not a superstar level, but a deity level. 2nd in baseball in fWAR, just 0.1 behind Joey Votto? A .353/.443.569 line which once held a batting average over .400 for a good portion of the season? Getting back to looking amazing on defense, minimizing errant throws while handling tough balls effortlessly? You know what, I lobby Wright for NL MVP. LoveTheDubs.
So Jose Reyes is gone, and we have little Ruben Tejada replacing basically the greatest Mets shortstop. Even though he's only played less than half of the games, Tejada is a big reason why I LoveTheMets this year. His plate appearances, such as the marathon walk against Papelbon or that infinity pitch at-bat to start of a game against one of the Phillie starters (I forgot who), have been amazing to watch. His plate discipline and ability to make solid contact (>30% LD rate) have resulted in a .323/.380/.406 slash and a frequency of multi-hit games rivaling that of Jose's last year. LoveTheMuscles.
There's also a LoveTheKirk, who I love watching hit (despite his struggles recently). I couldn't wait to watch him play since the moment he went on that tear down in St. Lucie (I think) in the second half of a season a few years back. It pleases me greatly to see him develop into a capable CF who can hit at the ML level despite his K rate, although I really do hope he gets back to form soon.
Props to Scott Hairston, destroying LHP like I've never really seen before. Whenever he plays against a left-hander, I expect a blast into left field, and it seems like it happens almost all the time anyways. Props to Ike, who has really heated up recently. I'll forgive his poor start and love watching him launch home runs like he did before he went down with the injury last year. Murph and Duda may not have had amazing offensive (and especially defensive for Duda), but they've had some great moments here and there. Still LoveTheMurphAndDuda.
And a collective LoveTheMetsHitters for their fight and ability to score runs in the clutch. I know we really bash clutch hitting and grission here, but it doesn't mean it's any less enjoyable to watch. I'd rather see a team who cares and fights for their wins than a team that just runs on talent and doesn't give two craps. I even feel like the ability to score runs with two outs can continue; as a high OBP/low power team, I'd expect more runs to come with two outs anyways (is this a possibility?)
LoveTheSP. No way we expected them to perform this well; there were so many questions for this rotation, as we felt that it would be the team's weak link. An average performance with few innings from Johan, a solid but not amazing season from Dickey, an average season from Niese, and barf-worthy performances from Pelfrey and Gee were considered.
And Johan is still pitching strong 3.24 ERA despite his horrible inning against the Cubbies. It's gone back to that time where I feel like I can just rely on Johan to shut down the opposing team. His K rate isn't that far off from 9 K/IP, his changeup still looks amazing, and his shoulder seems to be holding up. Plus, he threw the Mets' first no-hitter. Ya gotta believe. I wish Johan the best of health and hope to continue watching him dominate the rest of the season.
SUN GOD DICKEY. LOVE THE DICKEY. PRAISE DICKEY. RAmen.
Niese seems to finally be performing as his FIP suggested (in fact, he's outperforming it this season). We all knew of his ability to generate great peripheral statistics, but results tended not to show. But hey, he's here, and he's here for a long time. I feel incredibly confident with Niese pitching now, and he fits perfectly into a strong rotation. LoveTheNose.
Dillon Gee- wow. I wasn't even personally sure if he could stay in the rotation for the entire season, but jeez has he improved. Never really a strikeout pitcher, he's now averaging nearly a K/IP while lowering his walks even further. His results have been great given the expectations, but considering his inflated HR/FB% against, he could be performing even better. Like we just saw tonight, I expect Gee to start dominating more often with his development. LoveThe
Young has looked quite good so far, despite his peripherals, but I can't complain if he's the 5th starter at all. And while Pelfrey still pitched, he looked like he could finally pitch like a gangsta again! Too bad he's out, but LovedTheTongue while it lasted.
Heck, even kudos to Terry Collins. I believe he's a great fit for this club and his attitude has pleased me greatly. It's refreshing to see a manager who not only doesn't throw his own players under the bus (jerry manuel is so not gangsta) but encourages his players during troubled times. And while he has some head-scratching moves, he does much better than so many other managers out there. I don't think we really have anything to complain about. LoveTheTerry. And of course, LoveTheSandy too. It's great to see a competent GM and front office again.
Watching the bullpen (UGHTISTA) and hitters like Nickeas and Torres still pains me, but the suffering they cause are completely overshadowed by the amazing play of the rest of the team. While I'd love for upgrades to come, I can't complain much about this team.
Because I LoveTheMets.