The exuberance of the clubhouse was at its highest point Sunday afternoon in Houston, with the Mets one strike away from losing the final two games of the Astros series to Andy Pettitte and Clemens, respectively. Mike Piazza crushed a 1-2 fastball from Octavio Dotel into the Astros bullpen to tie the game, and Jason Phillips came through with a solo shot in the 13th to win it.
Suddenly, a series that the Mets were widely prognosticated to be swept in by Houston's big three of Roy Oswalt and the aforementioned two starters, had turned New York's way.
Could this be a turning point for the season? Manager Art Howe – who actually showed some uncharacteristic fire in arguing a call with second base umpire Larry Young on Sunday – thought so.
"Why not?" Howe told reporters. "We've got Cliff (Floyd) back now, and it seems like the guys are starting to swing the bats a little bit better."
Our take? Hold on - it's a little early to judge a team's competitiveness through 38 games – but it's nice to see the team actually on track for a record approaching the .500 mark. It also certainly did wonders to invigorate the Mets' front office.
The Newark Star-Ledger reports in Tuesday's editions that the Mets are eyeing several front-line star players to upgrade a team that has hung tough through crippling injuries to Floyd and second baseman Jose Reyes, the latter of whom still hasn't appeared in a regular-season game and is on no exact timetable to do so.
There may be something indeed to the Garcia and Beltran reports – a rumor circulated through the hallways at Yankee Stadium last week that would have had Garcia and Beltran, both free agents after this season, dealt to the Royals and Red Sox, respectively.
Roberts did, but said that there was no way he could pitch with his shoulder as it is – the Mets have finally relented and will allow a doctor to proceed on his frayed labrum, according to the Daily News.
It's not out of the realm of possibility that the 32-year-old Baldwin could head back to the International League and pitch well, thus earning himself another shot at New York's rotation, but you'd have to think he's fallen behind on the depth chart.