NL East Lead Expanding Like The Universe

In 1929 an astronomer named Edwin Hubble announced> a remarkable observation that changed our view of the world more than almost any other single discovery made this century. In every direction he looked, every galaxy in the sky was moving away from us. The nearby ones were moving relatively slowly, but the farther away a galaxy was the faster it was heading out.

In 2006, in every direction we look, every NL opponent is moving further away from the Mets. Back on 28th June, a mere two months ago, the Mets were 47-30 and held a 12 game lead over the Phillies. The team nearest them in all the National League was the St Louis Cardinals, who at 43-34, were four games behind. In the American League, three teams; the Tigers at 54-25, the White Sox (51-26) and the Boston Red Sox (47-28) all had better records than the Mets.

As of today the Mets actually have a better winning percentage than they did then, at 80-49. The NL East lead has expanded to a staggering 15 1/2 games and their nearest competition in the National League is still the Cardinals who with a 69-60 record are now 11 games behind the Mets for the best record in the National League.

In two months, the Mets have improved from being 4 games ahead of ALL their competition in the NL to 11 games ahead.

And guess what, with the Tigers struggling of late the Mets aren't even that far off from having the best record in all of baseball. The Tigers are currently 82-49, a mere game ahead of the Mets, down from 6 games, for the best record in baseball.

What it means is that in a season where the Mets have consistently been the best team in the National League, they are actually getting better.

After yesterday's laughable 8-3 victory over the Phillies closed out the most recent homestand having won 9 of their last 10 games and seeing their magic number down to 18.

John Maine was solid albeit occasional distracted, according to the manager. Nonetheless, facing the Phillies yet again he lasted 6 1/3 innings and allowed five hits and two runs -- both earned -- with two walks and two strikeouts. 3 of his 4 wins this season have come against the Phillies. He improved to 4-0 with four no-decisions in his last eight starts. His last loss was July 8 against the Marlins.

David Wright, mired in a slump of massive proportion since the All-Star game, hitless in his last 24 at-bats, got the aid of an ump for a controversial single in the third inning which was first called foul and then called fair. Or perhaps it was the aid of several umpires who assisted the blind man in seeing that the ball had been knocked foul by the bloody base.

But it's a sign that things are all going the Mets way. How often is a call like that overturned?

In any event, the Mets laughed through 6 runs in that inning, destroyed any semblance of a competetive game and reasserted yet again their dominance in an otherwise watered down NL season.

Reyes, LoDuca, Delgado and Endy Chavez all had a pair of hits. LoDuca, Delgado and David Wright all had a pair of RBIs.

Roberto Hernandez had a nifty two-out outing to drop his ERA to 2.89 with the Mets.

Billy Wagner ended the ninth with three consecutive strikeouts and in between, Guillermo Mota surrendered yet another Ryan Howard homerun yet still has an impressive 1.80 ERA with the Mets.

Tonight the Mets travel to Colorado to face Kaz Matsui and the Rockies.

Steve Trachsel gets the mile high start because the Mets record in Trachsel's 25 starts is 18-7.

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