THE AMAZINS, 2016 STYLE by Tom Brennan
We had an amazing resurrection in 1969 to win the World Series, another one to get to the Series and almost win it in 1973, and a third in 1986, when the Series was all but lost, except for a game 6 miracle comeback. Yes, sir, it DID get by Buckner.
Then, of course, 2015, where a horrific hitting team with cheap management shut up the moaners and groaners and did a bold 180 in late July, becoming the most potent offense in baseball, and got to the Series again.
2016 is starting to look like more of the same.
When asked if the following were to happen, where the team would finish, most folks would say LAST PLACE:
Duda and Wright both miss over 4 months with back injuries, and Walker will miss several weeks with his own back woes.
Cabrera has a few extended Battles of Wounded Knee, costing him quite a few games.
D'Arnaud misses a few months, again, and his back ups hit .200. He also is allergic to driving runners in when he returns.
Conforto has one good month, then completely falters, leading to 2 demotions.
Lagares misses months with a torn ligament in his thumb.
Flores essentially is comatose all of April and May.
Cespedes misses nealy a month with leg-related days off.
Grandy needs a seeing eye dog and a tin cup with men on base.
Reyes is signed, starts to shake off rust, and goes on the DL for 2 weeks just as the rust is vanishing.
de Aza, supposedly a key outfielder before Cespedes is surprisingly signed, enters September hitting slightly better for the season than Bartolo Colon.
Harvey, to be the anchor of the 2016 rotation, goes from abysmal to season- ending surgery.
Matz and Thor pitch with elbow chips for half the season, Thor also has a bout of dead arm, and Matz comes down with a cranky shoulder to go with his chips - please pass the dip.
deGrom has velocity problems early, then fatigue problems in August.
Wheeler is supposed to be back in late June. What they did not tell us was that they weren't referring to 2016.
Logan Verrett shocked me with a very strong 3-0 April as I wondered where the heck his propensity for surrendering homers in bunches had gone. He goes 0-8 with LOTS of homers after April, until he is sent down finally in August.
Edgin misses most of the season with a slow rehab in the minors.
Jay Bruce leads the majors in RBIs when they trade for him, then imitates Don Hahn for the first 5 weeks of his Mets' career.
We don't keep Kelly Johnson after 2015 and have to reacquire him after Campbell sputters again in a utility role and is finally exiled.
Oh yeah, they allow the 2016 League MVP Danny Boy Murphy to leave the team after a spectacular last 2 months, plus playoffs, of 2015, and let him go to the arch-rival Nationals to boot.
WITH ALL THAT HAPPENING, THE METS ARE IN A FAVORED POSITION TO WIN A WILD CARD BERTH HEADING INTO SEPTEMBER!! SAY WHAT?????
The Cards may be ahead of the Mets by 2 games, but the Cards' remaining schedule is much, much tougher than the Mets' schedule. And the Mets have real momentum having won 9 of 11. The Cubs led the Mets heading into Sept.1969,before the Mets blew past them, and we're ready to give the Cards the same treatment now.
Seth Lugo and Rob Gsellman, who nobody thought would start 2016 games for the Mets, have been recent lifesavers, and impressively so. Rafael Montero got obliterated in AAA, allowing over 50 runs in roughly his last 45 AAA innings before a mercy demotion to AA led to 8 straight solid starts in AA, then tosses 5 scoreless innings in a win over killer pitcher Jose Fernandez.
The 2 Pen Pillars, Familia and Red, have been other-worldly.
All in all, AMAZIN'. SIMPLY AMAZIN'.
Fasten your seatbelts, folks, September in Amazin' Land is here. Pass me a Wild Card, please.