This mini-resurgence (and sorry, it’s still a mini-resurgence) is a battle of math vs. eyes. The math tells you that the Mets are back to six games under .500 with three games coming up against the putrid Philadelphia Phillies. And outside of a three game set with Washington and the opportunity to lock horns with the slumping Rockies, July seems like a manageable minefield to go through to get to .500 and give them a chance to launch.
My eyes told me a different story against Washington and Los Angeles … not only losing six of seven to those teams but being completely uncompetitive in the process. My eyes are also telling me that the Mets are fattening up against bad teams. Great for the math, but it confuses my eyes. Wins are good for the math, but wins against bad teams don’t necessarily convince me that this team can make a solid run at a playoff spot. My mind probably isn’t going to be made up after three against the Phillies unless they somehow lose two of them.
My eyes do tell me, however, that the starting pitching is on a good run right now. We know that Jacob deGrom is on a good run right now. Steven Matz is healthy, and when he’s healthy he’s good. Tonight, Seth Lugo gave the Mets their third good start in a row as his two earned runs in six innings against the Marlins led the way to a 6-3 victory to take the series. All the Mets really need is three starters on a roll to help this team get back on its feet. Forget “five aces” or whatever marketable nicknames you want to come up with. Show us three solid starters and a halfway decent lineup with Curtis Granderson on a pre-August hot streak, and we’ll show you a team that has somewhat of a chance. I have to see it against good teams. Two of three wins against Washington and two of three wins against Colorado and I’ll start to get really hopeful.
But until then, just give me three consistent starters. Give me a rested bullpen. Give me that, and I’ll show you a team that doesn’t need Bartolo Colon. As you probably heard, Colon was DFA’d by the Atlanta Braves. I feel for Colon because all the Braves really wanted from Colon and R.A. Dickey was for them to be halfway decent and give their young starters some guidance to have career success. All they needed was camp counselors. But Colon had an ERA of over eight. As much as the Braves wanted him to be a positive influence as he was here in New York, Colon left Atlanta no choice but to let him go.
We got really lucky with Bartolo. My biggest worry with him when the Mets signed him to take Matt Harvey’s rotation spot was that he was going to get really old really fast. And he did … but not until after he spent three seasons here and gave the Mets everything we could have possibly asked for from him. He got the Braves to give him $12 million, and then he got old. If you’re a Mets fan, you should be happy. We did it! Our team beat the system. Rolled three sevens in a row on a 40-year-old pitcher while Atlanta took his dice and rolled boxcars. The Mets were on the right side of a huge gamble, this should be celebrated.
Instead, we’re clamoring for a Bartolo return. And all I’ll say is this: If you want to bring him back to be that ever elusive long man because you think he’ll keep the bullpen fresh and he’ll take Neil Ramirez’s spot before Terry Collins can do anymore damage by putting him in tie games in the seventh inning, then maybe it could be a useful signing. If you want to bring him back because he’s Bartolo and he’s fluffy and he makes you laugh and you miss his at-bats, ask yourself this: If his name was Bert Cole and he was 6’1″ 173 lbs and he had an ERA of over eight, would you want to see him? Or are you just into the sideshow? Because if you want the sideshow, hire a clown. He’s cheaper.
We look to the past too much. We pine for the good times. We celebrate anniversaries of random events because they happened 1, 5, 10 years ago. We think that Bert Cole will magically turn into Bartolo Colon by putting him in Citi Field and expect magic to be recreated. I love what Bartolo did. I’m thankful that he became a Met despite my complaints about it when it happened. But it’s over. We shouldn’t tarnish the past by trying to recreate it. The Mets should have learned their lesson with Jose Reyes but they couldn’t help themselves. The Mets had better think long and hard before making what could be a similar mistake. They sure as hell better do it for the right reasons.
Today’s Hate List
- Randall Delgado
- Giancarlo Stanton
- Stephen Drew
- Ronald Torreyes
- Jaime Garcia