The Fourth of July is normally a pretty slow news day, unless you consider watching Uncle Mel eat his fourth hot dog of the afternoon to be news.
Thanks to Joel Sherman of the Post, this year was a little different. His column Monday discussed Sandy Alderson's gestating plan to offer Jose Reyes the big chunk of money that we've been led to believe the Mets would have a hard time offering him as a free agent.
That apparent change of heart warmed the coals at barbeques around the area on Monday afternoon before Mets fans sat down with full bellies to watch their team start the west coast swing that will end the first half of the season. By the end of the night, they were probably asking themselves why the team needed Reyes in the first place.
He hasn't been in the lineup for the last two days and the Mets have come back from long odds both days to win games. They came back against Mariano Rivera in the ninth inning on Sunday and then got no-hit for five innings by Rubby De La Rosa before exploding to life in the sixth.
Ruben Tejada broke up the no-no with a leadoff single and then the Mets put together three doubles to post three runs on the board against the suddenly hittable De La Rosa. Two more runs would cross later in the proceedings, Chris Capuano was solid and Bobby Parnell threw some serious gas, hitting 101, to light up the 5-2 win.
We're kidding about not needing Reyes, obviously, although it is a really good sign about the makeup of this team that they've found a way to win these last two games. No one would really have said much in anger about going down against Rivera or losing the first game in L.A. after a long trip for a game without your best player, but the Mets lost neither one and that says a lot about why this season continues to play out contrary to expectations.
Trips to Los Angeles have been nightmares in recent years. You had the Willie Randolph midnight massacre, Jose Reyes was lost for the year here in 2009 with a hamstring injury (which explains why he's on the cautious tip these days) and Jason Bay's run-in with a fence led to the concussion that ruined last year.
Bay actually ran into the fence again on Monday, but was no worse for the wear and went on to drive in one of the final two runs. That's two RBIs in two games for the much-maligned one, another sign that it is okay to believe in comebacks.
That 2010 trip was the beginning of the end for the Mets, so it was nice to get this one off to a good start. Assuming Reyes doesn't return to ruin everything, it might just end well as well.