There was a time where everyone counted the New York Mets out. Those times have changed.
The Mets, who at one point were eight and a half games back of the Phillies are now only a half game back. With still almost another half of baseball to play, the Mets are back in it.
But why? After everything looked so bad, why have the Mets turned it around?
A few reasons. One, Mike Pelfrey is actually becoming the pitcher we expected him to be.
After starting off the year 2-6, a record that almost got him sent down, he is now 8-6 with a 3.64 ERA. He truly is looking like a future ace of the Mets pitching staff.
Two, Jose Reyes. I am not the first one to say this, but the Mets go as Reyes goes. Reyes deserved to be in the All-Star game this year.
He was the first player in MLB history to enter the break with 10 steals, home runs, doubles, and triples. When Reyes is on, he brings and excitement to this ball club that cannot be replaced.
Three, Jerry Manuel. It just seems like he pushes all of the right buttons. I love the way he switches up the catchers instead of just playing Schnider.
His new method of letting the pitcher hand the ball off to the pitcher coming out of the bullpen brings unity to our club that was not here while Willie Randolph was manager. Manuel is 17-9 as interim manager, though we may not be calling him interim much longer.
Our fourth and last main reason is Damion Easley, Fernando Tatis, and Carlos Delgado. Before this season, Delgado was considered an over-the-hill superstar, Easley was nothing more than an OK pinch hitter, and Tatis was just a minor leaguer.
There was a time where they were All-Star candidates in their own right, but it looked like those times had passed. Though they are not All-Star candidates Delgado is tied for the team lead in home runs with David Wright (17) and has hit 52 RBI, though those 52 RBI are a lot better than they sound because before that Yankees series he had just 35.
About a month ago, Easley was batting around .240. But he has brought that back up in the .290 range in no time. Now he is going to push Luis Castillo, who was given a huge contract this offseason, for his starting job.
Tatis, who was in Triple A all of last season. For the Mets this season, he has been coming up with big hit after big hit. He and Endy Chavez are becoming an ever-so-popular outfield platoon while we wait for Pagan and Church to come back from their injuries.
While I think the Mets could use another outfielder such as Raul Ibanez, they don't need to. They will be fine with these unknown stars.