The New York Mets are For Real…Believe it Yet?

By Matt Musico

We’ve said it a few times here on Rising Apple; the 2012 Mets are different from teams in recent years. There’s just something about them that makes you feel there is something special going on here. Everyone was picking this team to be in the basement, and for good reason. They had a shaky offense that lost NL batting champion Jose Reyes, and their pitching staff was led by Johan Santana, coming off shoulder surgery that no pitcher has ever fully recovered from. How the heck were they going to be any good? There were no expectations for this team…and you know what, Terry Collins and his squad wouldn’t want it any other way.

Sure they can hit for a high average and get on base, but they can’t hit any home runs. They can score runs at a decent rate, but their bullpen is so bad that it’s technically the worst performing ‘pen in the MLB. With a negative run differential, they’re supposed to be last in the National League East right now. Instead, the New York Mets are sitting at 29-23, tied with the Miami Marlins for second in the division behind the Washington Nationals, and are tied for the second-most wins in the NL. How exactly is this happening? You need to

forget the statistics, because none of them matter. When looking at the character and makeup of this team, this type of chemistry and magic haven’t been around since that wonderful baseball season of 2006.

This team has no quit; this team has no fear; they will battle in every single contest until that 27th out is recorded. That is a quality that has been missing from the Mets over the last couple of years. There were plenty of times when I knew New York had a chance to come back in the 8th or the 9th and steal a win from their opponent, but I just didn’t feel it. This year, I feel it in every game. They’re working the counts up and down the lineup, they’re grinding out at-bats, forcing starters out of the game much earlier than they have in the past, and have been able to capitalize on mistakes by opposing bullpens.

Just when you thought this season couldn’t get any better, the impossible happened; Johan Santana finally broke the curse and tossed a no-hitter as a Met! If you don’t believe that something special is going on in Flushing this year, you’re crazy. Do the Mets have the potential to flop in the next month? You bet. The amount of injuries they’ve suffered and a horrific bullpen could absolutely catch up to them, but this year just feels different. And that was just confirmed by seeing a Met pitcher throw a no-hitter. It’s safe to say that no one thought it was ever going to happen. Gary Cohen said it himself when Ron Darling asked him.

So, when you talk about the 2012 Mets, forget about the statistics, because they’re defying all kinds of logic right now. The heart and determination is there to be successful this year, and a lot of the credit must go to Terry Collins for instilling that kind of attitude into his team. Now is the time that everyone will start taking the Mets seriously again, and it’s just a wonderful thing. Even though the stats don’t line up with what they’re doing right now, just throw them out the window.