Memorable series in Toronto? Perhaps not. The Mets flirted more with last place than with first this weekend, but they got out of the country with a win and perhaps that’s a step forward.
No NL East team swept this weekend, providing the Mets some solace. The Mets also have managed to squeak out some wins while they’ve been struggling, perhaps doing some good towards minimizing the damage. Avoiding long losing streaks is a good way to avoid undoing all the progress you’ve made during winning streaks, and simply being 4-6 over the last 10 instead of 2-8 has done that. A good way to have a winning record is to win more games when you’re playing well than you lose when you’re playing poorly, since all teams do both for at least some portion of the season.
It’s important to minimize the length of said losing streaks as well, and for the last couple of decades the National League’s favorite way to do that has been to face the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Mets will travel to Pittsburgh for a three game set, and while it’s true that they’re not a good team, it’s important to note that they rank 3rd in the NL in team ERA and the Mets will be facing their two best pitchers in Bedard and McDonald. The counter argument is of course that the Pirates can’t hit a lick and the Mets will be tossing the top of their rotation as well, with Johan Santana, R.A. Dickey and Jon Niese getting the starts.
It’s worth noting that the Mets are three games over .500 more than a quarter of the way through the season and haven’t been a losing team even for one game all season long despite being almost universally picked to finish last. It isn’t because everything has clicked either. The starters have probably been better than expected overall, but they’ve been prone to absolute disaster starts as well. The bullpen is incredibly streaky, and it almost seems that as Frank Francisco goes, so go the Mets. The offense that should’ve been the Mets best feature has been spotty, although David Wright is hitting for two. Ike Davis has been pretty much a disaster and the two positions that the Mets really didn’t have any depth, shortstop and catcher, are two positions the Mets faced injuries at . Both Ruben Tejada and Josh Thole went down while putting up strong offensive numbers, and their backups certainly aren’t up to par.
And still the Mets roll on. Time to take care of some Pirates.