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Mets suddenly streaking in East

The New York Mets were hearing it from all corners of New York City last week.There was all kinds of talk about how the team could not hit and while the pitching staff was good, the lineup was going to cost this team any chance of playing in October.

Less than one full week later, and Mets fans are already dreaming of a beautiful ending to the Fall Classic. Everything seemed to have changed with one swing on Thursday night, with the Chicago Cubs leading 3-0 at Citi Field in the first of four games between the two 2015 National League Championship Series participants. In the bottom of the sixth inning against Cubs starter John Lackey, outfielder Yoenis Cespedes crushed an offering into the upper deck of left field.

Since then, the Mets can’t be stopped. New York would rally with three more runs in the seventh inning that night to earn a 4-3 win. In the next three contests, the Mets would go from lifeless to electrifying, scoring 28 runs to sweep the prohibitive World Series favorites. Sunday might have been the most impressive of the games, with Noah Syndergaard dominating on the bump while the offense exploded for 14 runs against Jon Lester and the Chicago bullpen.

The main reason for the offensive explosion has been Cespedes, who has vaulted himself once again into the Most Valuable Player race. Cespedes, who almost left for the Washington Nationals in free agency last fall before coming back on a three-year deal (with a player option after this season) for $75 million, is on fire. The Cuban sensation has gone 9-for-21 over the last five games – all New York wins – with five runs, three doubles and two home runs to go with five RBI.

For the season, Cespedes has kept the lineup respectable, leading the Mets in average (.300), homers (20), RBI (55), on-base percentage (.366) and hits (83). On Monday, Cespedes was at the heart of a rally to overcome a six-run deficit against the Miami Marlins, putting New York only four games behind Washington.

While New York is playing great baseball, there is no denying the lineup needs more help. With third baseman David Wright perhaps finished for the season (or his career) with a back injury, general manager Sandy Alderson needs to make a move. Perhaps it is time to call about Nolan Arenado, Carlos Gonzalez, Jay Bruce, Josh Reddick or Danny Valencia. Alderson knows that unless Cespedes goes on a Carlos Beltran-esque run in the postseason, this group could fall short.

In the meantime, the Mets have righted the ship and have a tremendous rotation to keep things rolling.

The faithful can relax, if only for a New York minute.

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