The Mets Come Home With Reasons to Smile - NBC New York

The Mets Come Home With Reasons to Smile

Plenty to like about the first six games of the 2011 season



    The Mets Come Home With Reasons to Smile
    Getty Images
    The Mets are safely sliding into home on Friday.

    Can you imagine what the scene would be like at Citi Field on Friday if the Mets had done what the Red Sox or Rays did in the first six games of the season? 

    It would probably look like a pretty good rendition of the scene from a Frankenstein movie when all of the villagers show up at the castle with pitchforks and torches ready to lay waste to the monster and its creator. That's all it would take to turn "Family Guy" into a reality show.

    So be thankful that we won't have to see that scene play out when the Mets face the Nationals on Friday. Even after the back-to-back disappointments of Mike Pelfrey's start and a dismal 11-0 loss to Roy Halladay to end the Phillies series, the Mets and their fans have plenty of reasons to feel optimistic at their first home date of the season.

    First and foremost is the fact that they went 3-3 on the season-opening road trip. The Mets couldn't win away from Citi Field last season so taking a series from the Marlins and playing fairly well in Philly was a big step away from any notions that these are the Same Old Mets.

    They've gotten good offensive starts from Ike Davis, Jose Reyes and David Wright. That trio, along with Jason Bay and Carlos Beltran, will do much to determine how well a shaky pitching team performs this season so it is good to see them all break alertly from the gate in the first week.

    Reyes, in particular, is looking a lot like the player that the Mets have been hoping to see in the last couple of years. His speed is good, his bat is quick and his on-field personality no longer seems like something he's forcing into situations that don't fit.

    If Bay can come back sometime soon and join Beltran in a rediscovery of hitting strokes, this should be a very good offensive team. Those are big ifs, of course, but they aren't pie in the sky dreams.

    There have been things not to like, Pelfrey is at the top of that list, but the first week brought more pleasant surprises than soul-crushing failures. That's why it should be a fun Friday at Citi Field. 

    We realize it is a bit silly to find so much to get fired up about after six games featuring as many losses as victories. A few more weeks like the one that just ended will make it easier to stop grading the Mets on a curve, we promise.  

    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.