Now we'll find out if the Mets really are unbeatable without Jose Reyes in the lineup.
The team has won all four of its games since Reyes left Saturday's tilt with the Yankees because of a hamstring injury and they'll have to keep on keeping on a little while longer because Reyes's injury hasn't progressed as hoped. The Mets placed Reyes on the disabled list Thursday and called up Nick Evans to take his place on the roster.
The move is retroactive to Sunday, which means he'll be eligible to come back on July 18. Unfortunately for the Mets, reports indicate it will be a bit longer than that.
Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes reported Thursday that doctors have told Reyes he needs three weeks of rest before returning to action. That would push his return closer to the end of the month and force the Mets to play most of a crucial month without their best player.
On Wednesday, Sandy Alderson said that the next stretch would go a long way toward deciding whether the Mets will be trading away players before the July 31 deadline or if they believe they have a team that can contend for a playoff spot. Even after four straight wins, it's hard to believe that they can do that if Reyes isn't in the lineup every day.
That naturally dovetails into questions about what this injury might mean for the team's chances of keeping Reyes as a free agent after the season. You could argue that this injury, on top of Reyes's previous hamstring woes, would take some air out of the market for his services and make him affordable enough for the Mets to keep him without much sweat.
Unless this develops into something much worse, a predicament you can never rule out with the Mets medical history, it is hard to see things playing out that way. Reyes, like any player with such a heavy reliance on speed, was always going to be a risky play because of injuries and aging patterns and the teams bidding on him are either comfortable with that or unconcerned about it.
That group probably includes the Mets. Reports have surfaced in the last few days that the Mets are readying a massive offer for Reyes and/or engaging in secret talks with the shortstop's camp about a new deal.
Reyes's side has denied the latter report, which does sound a bit like a preemptive PR ploy. But if there are secret talks, he'd pretty much have to deny them, so you can believe whatever you like.
If anything, the chance provided for Ruben Tejada by the injury might give the Mets more cover for a Reyes departure. If Tejada shows an ability to handle the position every day without the team suffering much in the standings, it would be a lot easier to argue that the team will be okay without Reyes.
That's all speculation for the moment. All we know is that Reyes is out and the Mets will have to continue overachieving to keep this season as the pleasant surprise it has been thus far.