By Matt Snyder
When Jason Bay joined his teammates for the first time this regular season, the Mets were 5-13. After a victory over the Diamondbacks Saturday, the Mets now stand 8-13. Small sample? Obviously. Coincidence? Not in the least.
Saturday, Bay hit his first home run of the season and drove in three. He's 4-12 thus far.
Adding Bay to the five hole of the batting order provides extra protection for Carlos Beltran and knocks Ike Davis down to the six-hole. The Mets are often maligned, but starting with Jose Reyes and going Wright-Beltran-Bay-Davis through the middle isn't half bad. They've scored 19 runs in the past three games. They'd scored 18 in the previous seven before Bay's return.
Bay's been under tons of scrutiny after last season. He signed a large free agent contract to join the Mets, but had one of the worst seasons of his career before it was cut short with a bad concussion. But in 2009, he hit 36 home runs and drove home 119 for the Red Sox. At 32, he's not old and is still a presence in the middle of the order -- the type of guy who can make everyone around him better.
Thus far in 2011, it's working well for Bay and Mets. Even if it's only been three games, any good news will do.
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