Mets Outslug NL's "Best"

It's hard to believe, even for one who, as early as March, had the Brewers penciled in as NL Central Champs, that the Brewers have not only seized a choke hold on that division but managed to accrue the NL's best record in the process.

I mean, everyone whose anyone knows that, on paper anyway, the Mets are the best team in the National League. Only the seriously misguided and the delusionists, like Braves fans and Dodgers fans would believe otherwise. (and yes, Philadelphia has humiliated itself so much already this season there's no longer any reason for Mets fans to pile scorn upon that satire of a rambling speech wherein Jimmy Rollins verbalised, well, you know, seriously impaired fantasies about the Phillies being the team to beat whilst still in the heady clouds of Spring Training.)

But the pernt is, here come these Brewers to Shea with the best record in the National League and what were the Mets going to do about it?

First of all, thanks to Jorge Sosa who, for his second start in a row since his trek from Triple-A, earned the winning decision and brought his mark to 2-0 with an impressive 2.77 ERA. Let's not forget this 30-something chap went 13-3 for the Braves only two seasons ago.

This was a far cry from having to watch such car-crash pitching performances like Chan Ho No and well, let's be honest, most innings of a Mike Pelfrey start. This is the pitching from a guy who looks like he should be in the Major Leagues pitching.

Sure, he gave up a pair of homers, 3 walks and 4 hits over nearly 7 innings and sure, it took an equally impressive power display from the Mets' renowned batting order to push the victory from dream to reality, but there it is, the case of Jorge Sosa: two starts, two victories, zero excuses.

Replacing him with men on in the 7th, Pedro Feliciano did the business to preserve the lead by striking out the only batter he faced. 17 appearances thus far and less than 15 innings of work means he comes in to do a job and does it baddabing, baddabang, end of story. Two earned runs surrendered in all that work leaves his ERA at 1.23. An unsung hero. So for a night anyway, let's sing his praises.

The real Aaron Heilman resurfaced at Shea on Friday night to give up a two-run homer to that coming-out-of-nowhere kid, JJ Hardy. That blast was his 10th of the season which is more than he has ever hit in an entire season to date. (True, he's only played two seasons previously but how does he go from hitting 9 homers with a .247 batting average in 124 games in 2005 to hitting .336 with 10 homers in just 34 games this season? Who the hell is his hitting coach? And don't bother telling me Jim Skaalen becuase I know he's just a front for something more sinister...

Anyway, not even Heilman's hijinks were sufficient to derail this victory because Billy Wags came in for the 9th with a one run lead and made it stick with another uncanny 1-2-3 performance albeit sans strikeouts this time 'round to earn his 9th save in 9 tries with a 0.56 ERA in all. 0.56 ERA from your closer? Let's not downplay this, I mean, this is bloody incredible. Either that's incredible or that Francisco Cordero kid who comes out of the closer's pen for Milwaukee...he's got a slightly lower (0.54) ERA but 15 saves in 15 chances. Gives Billy Wags a sort of compass to measure his season by, I reckon...

But enough nattering on about the pitching because whilst the pitching was sufficient and whilst it was good to see auld Jeff Suppan battered about by Mets hitters after last season's NLCS, the other story, harder to hide, was the phat Mets homer binge.

Offensively-disappointing juggernauts launch a pair Friday night

Both David Wright and Carlos Delgado hit (only) their third homers of this nearly-adolescent season which sort of off-set Shawn Green and his pointy Spock ears going 0-4 on the night and the last haircut holdout, Jose Reyes going hitless again whilst teammates teased that his failure to shave his head is leading to his recent struggling at the plate.

You see, you can joke about this kind of stuff when you're winning in handfuls like the Mets are. Last night's 5-4 squeaker was their 6th in 8 games. Of course, the Braves continue to keep pace, this time beating the Pirates, 4-1 and they too, have won six of their last 8. There's nothing funny about that. Nor is there anything funny about their having taken two out of three from the Mets twice already this season, but that's apocalepsy for another afternoon.

For now, I leave you with the notion of redemption for our B-Met second baseman:

Oh, alright. And this atones for last week's error in San Fransisco that continued the rally that drove Oliver Perez from the mound?

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