On this date last year, the Mets were in first place. That’s right, first place. It seems like ages ago when we, as Mets fans, knew that we were not only the best team in the NL East, but the whole damn league.
Fast forward 365 days later, 9,539,329 games on the DL, 36 different starting pitchers, 9 different middle infielders and a partridge in a pear tree….you get the picture. This club has seen its fair share of punishment in every way possible. But if there is one thing that you can call them, it’s resilient.
They came into the season picked by some baseball “experts” to possibly finish behind the Nationals in the NL East. Granted, most baseball writers like to kick a team when they are down, but no one thought that the Mets would play the type of ball that they have played over the last 6 games.
This resurgence started Friday night against the “Evil Empire”. The Amazin’s were trailing 2-0 going into the 9th inning of the opening game of the Subway Series. After only mustering a measly 2 hits off of Javy Vazquez and Joba the Hut, Mo came in to slam the door shut on the Mets. Two quick outs later, Jason bay and Ike Davis smoked back to back doubles off the untouchable Rivera and all of a sudden, Citi Field had a charge go though it. It was like everyone was waiting for Matt Franco to happen all over again. Although David Wright (first pitch swinging of course. Do you guys ever notice that EVERY SINGLE TIME the Mets either start a big comeback or are in the middle of a rally, David needs to flail at the first pitch? It drives me nuts!) smoked a one hopper to Cano and the game was over, it almost seems like they fed off that energy of getting to Mo.
With Mike Pelfrey’s corpse rising out of its 2009 casket, we can now say that we have found our #2 starter. But he’s not our #2. He’s really our #1a. He started this 5 game winning streak with another great 6 innings for the win and had his double play ball working last night to extend it to 5. No one in their right mind would have though that with all the licking and brow wiping from last year, that Mike would have any skin left on his right hand and forehead, let alone a 7-1 record and a 2.54 ERA.
But for alllllll the criticism Omar and his staff got for not getting any starting pitching help (because we all knew that Ollie would either be on the DL or designated for assignment), we’ve called upon a Japanese reliever who was really a starter, but we made him a reliever because we don’t really have a plan in place, and now he’s a starter again. Plus…now this gets good, we didn’t call up Dillon Gee or Pat Misch, but knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. Sure, everyone was calling up WFAN going crazy about these guys starting. But WOW! Takahashi and Dickey have come out and just dominated in each of their two starts. (Side note: Did anyone else giggle a little bit when Dickey was pitching to Rod the other night? I know I did.)
This run that the Mets have put together, including the incredible 3 game sweep that the Mets pitchers didn’t allow a single Philly cross home plate, has been simply amazing. Fundamentally sound baseball at it’s finest. Early runs, hitting with RISP, crisp defense. We didn’t see any of this in the previous 359 days prior to this one.
The Metsies travel to Milwaukee tonight to start a 3 game series. The Brewers will run out their only good pitcher tonight in Yovani Gallardo, who will oppose Johan Santana. How about some more solid pitching and crisp defense this weekend? Now we’re only 2 games out of first place. So how about we come home next week in 1st? The swagger seems to be coming back. We’re playing like the best team in the league. Now they just have to believe it. LET’S GO METS!