PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 26: Andres Torres #56 of the New York Mets slides into third base against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on July 26, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
The Mets may still be 8.5 games back of the second wild card spot in the National League, but they might have fallen completely off the pace over the past week if not for Andres Torres. In the team's pair of four-game series in Arizona and San Francisco, Torres hit .474/.545/.632 while most of his teammates weren't hitting much at all.
While the Mets would need to go on an extended run of success, they are in the midst of a west-coast road trip that could have easily sunk their season. But since they split the series with the Diamondbacks and took three of four games from the Giants, the Mets remain on the fringe of relevancy.
The Mets likely wouldn't be within striking distance of the teams immediately ahead of them in the standings if not for Torres's sudden offensive explosion. On the season, Torres been very good at getting on base — his .352 OBP is fourth on the team among hitters with at least 100 plate appearances — but has not hit for average or power like he did in 2009 and 2010. Torres's offensive production took a major dip last year, but the Mets acquired him, along with Ramon Ramirez, from the Giants over the winter in hopes that Torres would find his offensive game with a change of scenery.
For the Mets to make a serious push in the wild card race, everything would have to break right through the end of the season. The odds are obviously slim. But if the team is to do the unexpected, it could certainly use more weeks like this past one from Andres Torres. For now, though, Torres at least kept the team from falling 10 or more games off the wild card pace.