If the Mets are to arrest the momentum of their stunning fall down the NL East standings, they will need a spark from somewhere. They have admitted, time and again, that what they are doing has not been working.
Perhaps Javier Báez can be that spark. He is unlike any other Mets hitter. He chases pitches out of the zone far more often than most of his teammates. He is also boisterous, dynamic, and the type of player who has already — despite poor numbers overall — given the Mets a series of significant hits since they acquired him at the Trade Deadline.
Upon returning from a brief stint on the injured list on Sunday, Báez immediately set about the process of duct taping the Mets back together. Doubling twice, scoring twice and driving home two runs, Báez played a significant role in both of New York’s run-scoring rallies during a 7-2 win over the Dodgers. J.D. Davis also drove home four runs at Chavez Ravine for the Mets, who won for just the fifth time in their last 29 games against Los Angeles.
Before Sunday’s series finale against the Dodgers, the team activated Báez from the injured list following a 10-day absence due to back spasms. He immediately returned to the starting lineup, batting third and playing short.
The Mets did not, however, activate Francisco Lindor, who has been sidelined since July 16 due to a strained right oblique. Although there was some initial thought that Lindor could also return on Sunday, team trainers recommended waiting until early this week — perhaps as soon as Tuesday, when the Mets open a 10-game homestand against the Giants.