The New York Mets 18-inning, 3-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals needs to be the tipping point in Sandy Alderson acting swiftly.
By Robby Sabo
If there’s one thing scoring only seven runs in 36-innings against the St. Louis Cardinals should signal, it’s that hope is right around the corner.
After all, plating only seven runs through the equivalent of four games is hardly anything to get excited about. Nevertheless, it should signal hope, continuing the trend that the New York Mets 2015 campaign has been a roller-coaster ride of emotions.
Hope, due to the fact they’re keeping the head above water in spite of this disgusting lineup.
Getting off to the blazing 13-3 record in April had fans so giddy that “taking over the town” became the new fashionable mantra. After realizing this idea was brought to the table a little too early, Mets fans found themselves in a familiar, yet painful position: feeling lack of hope.
Then though, as sudden as anything imaginable, the Mets took seven of their last 10 to head into the 2015 MLB All-Star break five games over .500 and only a couple behind the NL East leading Washington Nationals.
Hope was back with flying colors in Flushing.
Taking only one of three against the best team in baseball following the break has yet put Mets fans back in their most unenviable position of despair and frustration with the feeling that their organization won’t act in time.
Keith Hernandez echoed the collective sighs of Mets fans when reviewing what went down Sunday in that 18-inning marathon against the Cards.
The real outlook, however, should be a positive one.
As Ruben Tejada finally represented the one Met who broke through with a runner in scoring position in the top of the 18th-inning, we all realized the lineup survived yet again.
Considering New York found its way across home plate only seven times in 36-innings the last three days and still wound up taking a game and almost stealing another needs to breathe life into a front office at this most critical juncture of the season.
Perhaps this weekend was just enough to nudge the front office in the most obvious direction of overpaying for a bat.
What this performance showed – other than their complete offensively offensive ways continuing – is the fact that Terry Collins’ club is oh so close to claiming contender status.
That’s how dominant this pitching staff has been. So dominant, in fact, that they can claim to have the third best ERA in Major League Baseball (3.22). So good that even the bullpen – with nondescript hurlers – is getting the job done with ease.
It’s a championship-caliber staff, plain and simple.
It’s a staff so phenomenal that it allows this club to compete with anyone.
Knowing this, Sandy Alderson and the powers that be in that All-Star cast of a front office must take action now. Understanding the current situation, we realize there are two certainties about where the Mets stand.
First and foremost, the entire baseball landscape understands how desperate Alderson’s club is for bats. Boasting the lowest batting average in baseball (.234), each and every team Alderson discusses movement with will hold that lineup depression over his head. They’ll look to squeeze every penny out of Alderson’s well-crafted personnel.
So, we know should the Mets acquire a Ben Zobrist-like bat they’ll certainly have to give up more than fair value. Understand this though, the more important factor in this idea is that Mets fans could care less about seeing a lopsided deal.
Mets fandom understands the situation. They realize to gain a little bit of offense in a desperate situation the Mets will have to give up a bit more than they’d like.
It’s been a long time since the organization took a chance.
This doesn’t mean trading away any of the “Phenom-Five,” but it does mean a deal that’ll thrust this organization into a serious pennant race – one the likes this fanbase hasn’t seen since 2006.
There’s no better example for where this team stands in baseball other than Sunday’s game.
Despite leaving a whopping 25-men on base and producing only one hit in 26 chances with runners in scoring position, the starting staff and bullpen pitched their hearts out. They did what they always do: carry the Mets into the night.
Whether lineup help comes in the form of super prospect Michael Conforto or an under-the-radar deal that brings a mid-level bat into the fold, Alderson (at this very moment) realizes one thing: hope is in the air due to these incredible young arms.
While the narrative continues to surround this anemic offense, this staff simply won’t let the season die.
After a few brilliant, well-timed trades that garnered fantastic return on investment, it’s finally time for Alderson to give up substance for a little in return to save the season.
This problem isn’t going away anytime soon. As Matt Harvey and the Mets invade Washington to take on the first-place Nationals tonight, hope will continue to rapidly progress.
How could it not based on this pitching?
— New York Mets (@Mets) July 20, 2015
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