MOST IMPRESSIVE: Brace yourself - I'm about to sing the praises of Jose Reyes. I mentioned this the other day - statistically speaking, he's the most important player on this team. I'll break it down further next week (SNY showed a stat about Reyes' numbers in Mets' wins and in losses, which I'll try to re-create), but for now I'll say this: Reyes got his average up over .300 in Monday night's game. He was hitting around .250 in mid-May. It's no coincidence that the Mets have gotten hot again as he has turned things around.
BIGGEST SURPRISE: New Life. I can't believe that the Mets aren't buried and gone...and I think neither can they. There's a different attitude around the team this weekend, as they're on the verge of taking three out of four from the Phillies - it's like some children's storybook. The Mets lost their confidence at some point in the past couple of years in Philadelphia. Well, the first weekend of July, 2008, they went back to Philadelphia, and lo and behold there it was - the Mets are back!
LEAST IMPRESSIVE: Well, up until today I was going to comment on Pedro Martinez*'s efforts, but he might have turned a corner with Monday's start. Maybe all he needed was some run support. I could have predicted he'd find his stuff tonight, though - because I chose not to start him in fantasy baseball.
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: I guess when all is said and done, I really wanted the Mets to have some representation in the All Star Game (read: more than just Billy Wagner). But like I wrote last week - they really didn't deserve it. And Wagner showed on Sunday why his selection is dicey. I find myself, though, voting like crazy for David Wright to make the team - I like to think that at the end of his career he will have a really long string of continuous All Star appearances. (Help him out - click here to vote for David Wright!)
MOST IMPRESSIVE: Just because I happened to catch it live on Sunday, Justin Upton hit a 484-foot bomb at Chase Field against the Padres. It landed in the seating area for the restaurant out behind left field. It deserves mention as "impressive".
BIGGEST SURPRISE: A step up for the Tampa Bay Rays. Instead of just being "impressive" this time around, they get the "surprise" label because they don't just lead their division anymore, they have the best record in all of baseball.
LEAST IMPRESSIVE: The Baltimore Orioles on Sunday. Have you seen this stat? The Orioles won the first Sunday of the season, and haven't won since, dropping thirteen straight on Sunday. I love that type of stuff, unless the Mets are involved.
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: I guess this merits mentioning here. Jeff Francoeur was recalled today, after being sent down to Double-A for three days. It was supposed to be a three-week stint. He complained, and was recalled, after tearing it up at the lower level. I think the Braves did the absolute right thing, and I think Francoeur should have dealt with it and come back after the All Star break ready to play if he was upset about it. I became a big believer in the 'sending the ineffective player' back down thing after the Blue Jays did it with Roy Halladay five or six years ago - he went all the way down to Single-A. I know it's different situations, because Halladay had less major league experience at that point than Francoeur, but he's been dominant since that send-down. Think it lit a fire under him? I do. (I think it was the right thing for the Tigers to do with Dontrelle Willis too.) Maybe the same thing will happen with Francoeur - but his whining might have messed up the process.
WRIGHT WATCH: It's been a while since I did an update while the Mets were actually playing, which means it's been a while since we've updated you on David Wright's march on the all-time doubles record (he had an RBI double tonight, along with a homer):
ALL-TIME LEADER: 792
WRIGHT'S SEASON TOTAL: 22
WRIGHT'S CAREER TOTAL: 163
(22 doubles? That man should be an All Star! Vote here.)
BIRTHDAY WISHES TO ME: Not to toot my own horn, but I turned 30 today. And the only reason I bring that up is because you may or may not remember, but I designed an MLB-type sleeve patch to celebrate the occasion. This is probably the last opportunity I'll have to show it, so I'm showing it again.