So long as the Mets continue to pile up victories at an inordinate pace, the departure of Carlos Beltran will have limited impact on the players who go on without him. His counsel will not be missed if the batting order, from top to bottom, produces as it did during a four-game sweep at Cincinnati, if it continues to compensate for those days in April when bases loaded, none out was reason for dread.
One of these days, though, one or two of the now-sizzling bats will endure an 0-for, or the Mets will simply lose three of four. An unwanted dose of reality will be administered by some opponent, and the professionalism of Beltran may become more conspicuously absent. And then what? Who does for Angel Pagan, Justin Turner, Lucas Duda and the others what Beltran did?
Talent is the most critical ingredient in the composition of any team. Intangibles rank second, not a too distant second, as the 2011 Mets have demonstrated to this point, because they often determine whether talent is expressed. Suffice it to say the brain and the ability to perform are inexorably linked.
With Beltran gone -- and this is not, in any way, a condemnation of the trade that moved him west -- a power void exists in the Mets' batting order. David Wright, who missed two months of the season and has eight home runs, seven fewer than Beltran had hit before the deal, leads the Mets in homers.
A good portion of that void will be addressed by Wright, Ike Davis -- if and when he returns -- Jason Bay, Daniel Murphy and Duda.