Jose Reyes, the main cog in the New York Mets' engine, needs some oil.
A quietly terrific year has Reyes hitting at .298, 14 homeruns, 59 RBI and 50 stolen bases. Those kind of numbers, on the battling Mets, are at least good enough to be put up for MVP consideration. Very few leadoff men have the consistent ability that Reyes has, the formidable combination of speed and power.
But right now, it doesn't matter.
Reyes, after a very solid August, has forgotten how to hit. In 13 games in September, Jose is hitting at .204, with only 1 homerun and 3 measly RBIs. These kinds of meek numbers epitomize the Mets' crumbling month. As the days grow slowly colder, the Mets' chances at a playoff follow suit, and no one has imitated the trend better than the Mets' shortstop.
September is certainly a bizzarre time for the Mets and their fans. Last year's meltdown has been mentioned so many times in the past two weeks that it's hard not to let evil thoughts creep into the brain. At first it was positive sentiment; this is a new Mets club, reeking of such positivity that fans and players needed a mask just to get through the thick cloud of laughing gas that had everyone smiling.
But lately, it's been a dark, ominous cloud, where Zeus, the baseball gods, and whoever else up there seem to have changed plans. The new thinking is dark and scary, but not uncharted. In fact, it is too familiar, an uneasy feeling of sameness that hangs over Shea, just waiting to pounce.
The only chance the team has is its leading hero. He alone has the lighting speed and thunderous bat to defend this poor city. Yet alas, it may be too late. He has lost some confidence, and only a miracle will bring him back.
Not really sure when this became an epic battle between good and evil, but the fact remains that the near hackneyed cliche will ring true for years to come:
However Reyes goes, the Mets go.
The playoff race is clearly bringing the truth to the surface. The only question is if Reyes can break out of his slump and claim victory.
If not, he will turn to the dark side, and all hope will be lost.