28.5.07

Mets Prove Many Ways To Fry A Fish

It was a profitable weekend following what might have otherwise been a demoralising conclusion to the week. Three Met wins, three Brave losses and the cushion in the NL East is now a burgeoning 4 1/2 games. Just like that momentum is reversed and the Mets are back on track, two games ahead of their 97-win pace of last season.

But don't worry, there's something new looming on the horizan to fret about.

Ironically the team the Mets can't seem to beat, the dreaded B-team, have nothing to show for their last two weeks save for that series victory over the Mets. Over that span, despite taking 2 out of 3 from the Mets, the Braves have gone 4-10. They fell to 12-13 for May and are in danger of becoming irrelevant. That's right. Irrelevant.

Meanwhile, the other evil force to compete against, the Philadelphia Phillies, have used May to turn around their disasterous, humiliating April, going 15-9 this month and although they are still 6 1/2 games behind the Mets they are no longer the laughingstocks. Yes, their pitching outside of Cole Hamels, is lamentable but that doesn't mean they couldn't come to Shea next week and batter our own pitchers with their increasingly potent batting order. A batting order that has had to gimp along without a whimper from last year's NL MVP Ryan Howard who, fresh off the DL, returned on Sunday to hit a pair of two-run homers.

Of course these worries are unfounded.


What, we worry? We're just getting warmed up...

The Mets are rolling along with suprise after surprise: Jorge Sosa, unable to make the team in the Spring earned his 4th win of the season in yesterday's game. John Maine may have recovered from a half-month of sluggishness to regain his form and Oliver Perez has emerged as a surprising staff ace, all whilst El Duque languished on the DL and Pedro continued working on a late summer return.

The mammoth Aprils of Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes slowly give way to the recoveries of David Wright and Carlos Delgado.

The loss of Shawn Green and Moises Alou off-set yesterday by Endy Chavez playing in right field, an incomprehensibly improved defence over the spastic advantures of Shawn Green, replacement second baseman Damon Easley playing left field and getting a pair of hits, and the replacement replacement second baseman Ruben Gotay making another subtle if not harmless cameo appearance as the strength of the Mets bench is glorified.

The bullpen, steady for most times this season, spectacular at others, pulled the Mets through like a determined plough horse yet again. Pedro Feliciano's clutch out to preserve Sosa's game in the 6th inning, followed by Joe Smith and his seemingly endless supply of perfect outings, followed by Aaron Heilman's predictably shaky appearance and Billy Wagner's 30th consecutive save.

What started as a team with many question marks save for a scary batting order has emerged in the first two months not only as the NL's finest team, but a confident, domineering force.

Yes, the Phillies humbled by their stumbling, bumbling April are looming on the horizan and the Braves are an ever-difficult puzzle to solve but who would seriously question the credentials of these Mets as they simple step over one obstacle after another without missing a beat?

It again speaks volumes of their team character that they were not demoralised by the frustrating if not predictable series loss in Atlanta and instead simply focused on the next task at hand - sweeping the Marlins in Florida. That the Phillies helped us by sweeping the Braves and simultaneously burgeoned their own fleeting hopes is merely another one of those bumps on the horizan the Mets will simply step over again on their way to their second consecutive NL East title. A dynasty of their own on the horizan.

3 comments:

Marlin Mo said...

you may have swept us this series but our pitchers picked off two Mets yesterday. There's hope for us yet!

sanchez said...

Just another word about the bench yesterday. Two pinch hitters both got hits (Newhan and Franco) and Franco's drove in a run - the Marlins had three pinch hitters - one grounded out, one ground into a DP and the 3rd walked...

Larry Bowa said...

The Phillies suck. They are no threat to anyone but themselves.