By Mike Steffanos
Game 24: Mets 6 - Braves 4
The Mets were playing in Atlanta, their starter was struggling early and allowed the Braves to put a crooked number up in the second inning, and looked dead offensively against a Braves starter who was pitching very well. All the ingredients were in place for another disheartening loss.
Instead of losing, however, the Mets showed something out of 2006 and actually came back to win the game behind a pitcher who managed to right himself, a late 2-inning offensive explosion, and solid bullpen work.
When the Mets manage a game like this you can actually see a ray of hope for the season. To be fair, though, it's got to happen for more than a game or two here and there. Getting back to .500 would be a good start.
I always thought Carlos Beltran could be a legitimate .300 hitter -- a feat he actually accomplished twice in Kansas City -- if he wasn't always trying to pull the ball. If he can maintain this approach all season, even when he's going bad, I think he could do that this year. Of course, that's a big "if" in the preceding sentence. Still, even if this causes his home runs to be down a few from his peak seasons, I think he's a much more dangerous hitter going to all fields.
Speaking of which, David Wright looked as good as he has all year tonight. With Delgado a big question mark with the hip, the Mets could desperately use a productive David Wright. Again, using the whole field is the key.
I was heartened by what I saw from Maine last night, but I'd still love to see him have a couple of outings with low walk totals. He's making progress, but giving up 6 walks in 6 innings is still troubling.