The Mets Can't Make a Wrong Step Right Now

Five straight wins and no P.R. snafus

By Josh Alper
|  Wednesday, Apr 27, 2011  |  Updated 9:59 AM EDT
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The Mets Can't Make a Wrong Step Right Now

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It's gotta be the shirts.

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Could it really be as simple as Jason Bay and black uniforms?

Last Thursday, the Mets switched things up and started emphasizing the much maligned black in their uniforms on the same day that Bay made his 2011 regular season debut. The result was a sweep-avoiding victory over the Astros and the Mets have just kept on winning since then.

The latest victory, a 6-4 win over the Nationals, was a microcosm of the way everything has gone the team's way since this little streak got underway.

Terry Collins pushed the right bullpen button every time as the relievers turned in more than four innings of solid work after replacing a shaky Chris Young. The manager also saw his gamble on Josh Thole pay off when the young catcher, often removed when facing a lefty pitcher, doubled home a pair of runs to break a 3-3 tie.

Crediting the uniforms for the success might be a bit of stretch, but Bay's effect on the team can't be denied. The lineup is a lot harder for pitchers to get through with Bay sitting in the middle of it with his 1060 OPS.

That's the player the Mets thought they were getting last season. Small sample size or not, Bay's work has been encouraging as the Mets try to push themselves further away from their ugly past.

There are other things helping them make a break from those dark days. The Mets made a trip to Walter Reed Hospital on Tuesday and two players didn't join the team for the trip to visit wounded veterans.

The news barely registered, which is a big change from the furor created last season when the team made a similar visit without Carlos Beltran, Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez. That just goes to show you what kind of goodwill you can generate when you get rid of Castillo and Perez.

Of course, Jeff Wilpon could have just done that last year instead of creating a controversy over something that wasn't all that worthy of one but we'll take the gains any way we can get them.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

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