Don’t look now, but the N.Y. Metropolitans, the other New York baseball team, is back with a vengeance! Very quietly they have reeled off five wins in a row, but more impressive than that, they are now five games over .500 for the first time in two years!
They have just swept the Phillies in a three game series outscoring them 22-12 in Philadelphia and that’s after beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 2 out of 3 games over the weekend. They’re 13-5 vs N.L. East opponents and as of Friday, are 1 game out of first behind the Washington Nationals.
The Mets were touted to finish in or near the cellar this season as they hadn’t made any major changes in their personnel in the off season. Perhaps it’s the lack of pressure that has propelled them thus far, especially in a town where the Yankees get the ink on the back pages of the daily papers and lead stories on the sports channels almost daily. With fan favorite Jose Reyes ‘taking his talents to South Beach’ along with a $109 million contact, the Mets are winning while sporting a line up that includes such names as Nickeas, Baxter, Duda, Thole, Tejada, Nieuwenhuis, Hairston, and Torres. Not exactly a ‘Murder’s Row’ type of lineup but more of a bunch of guys that are young and playing inspired baseball.
Veteran 3B David Wright is having an MVP type season so far; not so much with his power (3 HR in 101 AB), but with his team high .475 on-base percentage. Johan Santana, 2.61 ERA, looks more and more like the Santana of old and R.A. Dickey (4-1, 3.76) has been solid. Their downfall has been their bullpen which is currently ranked 14th in ERA (4.42). in the N.L. Improvement will be needed there.
To their credit, the Mets have 11 comeback victories so far in 2012-the highest in their history after 31 games so you can see how their 18-13 start of this season has been so encouraging and a bit surprising. It’s a long season but if they can keep playing exciting and winning baseball, who knows, maybe they will not only make it to the back pages of the papers, but also find themselves in a heated race for a Wild card when we get to October.
*On a historic note, The Mets played their 8,000 game against the Miami Marlins on Friday night and they are still waiting for their first no-hitter- even though they have had such pitchers as Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver, and Dwight Gooden on their teams. I guess that’s why the Mets are known as ‘The Amazins’…