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Jason Bay is Friday's human highlight reel

Jul 24, 2010, 12:31 PM EDT

This hasn’t been a fun year for Jason Bay. Signed to a four-year, $66 million contract over the winter, the 31-year-old outfielder is batting a modest .260 with six homers and 47 RBI. This time last year, he had 20 homers and 72 RBI. The Mets just haven’t gotten what they paid for.

After going 0-for-12 with eight strikeouts during the recent three-game sweep at the hands of the Diamondbacks, the struggling Bay was dropped to the seventh spot in the order by manager Jerry Manuel on Friday night. Prior to Friday’s game, Bay had only started a game in the No. 7 spot seven times in his career.

While it is notable the Mets broke a three-game losing streak Friday, banging out more than four runs for the first time since July 5, it was Bay that managed to steal the show. He started by making a running catch on a full-sprint in the bottom of the second inning, crashing face-first into the chain link fence in left field. I wish I had a screengrab for you, but the link to this video should suffice.

Perhaps the collision jarred something loose, because Bay finally remembered how to hit. In the eighth, he smacked a three-run double to right-center field, extending the Mets’ lead to the eventual winning score of 6-1. It was Bay’s first RBI since July 5 and his first extra-base hit since July 2.

As baseball fans, we often can’t help but to look at each season as a narrative. Or we at least long for one, trying to identify individual moments that turn things around. I’m not saying Bay is going to go on a tear and suddenly be the run producer the Mets thought they signed this winter, but would you be surprised if he did?

  1. DG1965 - Jul 24, 2010 at 1:38 PM

    Bay epitomizes “streak hitter” – he could easily pump up his average and RBIs over the next three weeks. Nevertheless it was a bad contract and a poor decision by Bay. His power #s will never match what they were at Fenway, and as the new guy with the big contract, there is a big bulls eye on his back in Queens. But he got his money, all that he wanted with no limitations and I hope he enjoys it. The fact that the Red Sox are likely to make the playoffs at least a couple of times in the coming years while the Mets will continue to wallow in misery is icing on the cake.

  2. Cru11 - Jul 24, 2010 at 5:32 PM

    Couldn’t have said it better myself.

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