Fans of the New York Mets are not known for playing it cool. When the team is doing well, it feels like New York is awash with blue and orange. When the Mets hit a rough patch, no fanbase sinks to deeper depths. It's a badge of honor for Mets fans. Take it from someone who has contemplated abdicating all his other responsibilities to become the unofficial president of the Francisco Alvarez fan club, Mets fans can get wrapped up in the moment.
When Edwin Diaz tore his patellar tendon while celebrating with his Puerto Rican teammates at the World Baseball Classic, Mets fans handled the news in predictably despairing fashion. "Same old Mets" was the refrain as the team's supporters pondered a season that was lost before it even began. Never before had the "Mr. Met hanging himself" GIF gotten such high usage.
For as low as Mets fans sunk in the wake of Diaz's injury, and again during the team's recent stretch of poor play, the sentiment might be swinging the other way. Fresh off a sweep of the hated Phillies to run their home winning streak to eight games, the Mets, dare I say, are back. Forgive me for not playing it cool, it's not what we do.
If better starting pitching, improved play from the veterans, and the continued hot hitting of Pete Alonso and the Baby Mets weren't enough, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic went on FS1 last night to talk about the possibility of Edwin Diaz's return this season. Have a look:
If Edwin Diaz can make it back this year, Mets fans will be impossible to deal with.
David Robertson has been pitching at an All-Star level since the season began. He's been supported by solid contributions from Adam Ottavino and Brooks Raley, but the rest of the Mets bullpen has been unreliable. Can you imagine Diaz making his triumphant return to Citi Field?
It seems that the Mets starters have finally figured out how to go deep into games, as Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Kodai Senga, and Carlos Carrasco have all recently shown. This has taken the pressure off those first few guys out of the bullpen, as they haven't been thrust into high leverage situations that, frankly, they aren't equipped to handle. Getting the best reliever in baseball back in time for the stretch run, which would push Robertson, Ottavino, and Raley to the 8th, 7th, and 6th innings, would be a more impactful addition than any other team could possibly make at the trade deadline.
Mets fans have been burned by high expectations before, but since when has that ever stopped us? Now only 3.5 games behind the Braves for first place, the club's May struggles are in the rearview mirror. If the Mets keep playing like they did in sweeping the Phillies, Diaz's potential return could vault them right back to World Series contender status. You'll have to excuse us if we get a little excited.