COMMENTARY | Still waiting for the New York Mets' annual second-half collapse? Don't hold your breath.
Despite tough endings to the previous two seasons, the Mets are making their case for different results in 2013. In fact, right now, the Mets happen to be playing some of their best baseball of the season -- right at the time when we've become accustomed to seeing just the opposite.
What was on display last night at Citi Field was encouraging. Consider the bad news that the Mets experienced prior to the opener of their series against the Colorado Rockies. On Friday night, they lost David Wright to a hamstring injury. On Monday, they learned that two minor-leaguers, Jordany Valdespin and Cesar Puello, each received 50-game suspensions as part of Major League Baseball's Biogenesis investigation. On Tuesday, they placed closer Bobby Parnell on the disabled list because of a herniated disk in his neck. Oh, and the Mets entered the series 11 games under .500.
None of that -- the injuries, the PEDs, or the record -- could spoil what turned out to be an exciting night at Citi Field.
Juan Lagares, who the Mets are taking a close look at to determine if he's going to be a part of the team's future plans, drove in all three runs -- two coming on his first-inning triple, then the game-winner, an infield hit in the eighth inning -- as the Mets beat the Rockies 3-2.
Eric Young Jr., also getting a good look, showed off his glove, speed, and instincts throughout the night. In the sixth inning, with the bases loaded and two outs, Young made a diving catch on a line drive hit by Todd Helton to end the inning. In the eighth, he scored from second base on Lagares' infield single.
It's interesting how at one point the Mets' outfield was thought to be their weakness. Last night, it was the outfield that won the game for them.
Credit goes to the pitchers as well. Three relievers combined to pitch scoreless ball over 3 2/3 innings last night. Jenrry Mehia pitched into the sixth inning, allowing just four hits and one earned run. He struck out seven and lowered his earned run average to 1.96 in his third start of the season.
No Wright. No Parnell. No problem.
Most of all, no second-half collapse. These Mets appear determined not to let that happen.
Charles Costello has followed the Mets closely since the rookie years of Darryl Strawberry (1983) and Dwight Gooden (1984). He was a beat reporter assigned to cover the Mets during the 1997 and 1998 seasons.
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