The Mets again, just like game seven, took a tie game into the late innings against the Cardinals. This time Heilman retires the side, Billy Wagner strikes out So Taguchi, and the Mets win on a Shawn Green home run. It’s been a while now since people have been calling for Green’s head. He’s started to play well again, and the hair on that head has started to grow again. The Mets now have a four game winning streak, and instead of not hitting when they pitch, they pitch when they’re not hitting. It’s a small thing, but a huge difference. The Mets are finding ways to win again, despite two Delgado errors, despite only having three hits.
This isn’t a fluke, this isn’t the Yankees teasing fans with a long win streak only to stumble again. The Mets are for real, this is for real. The Mets have now won the season series against the Cardinals, and have yet to lose a game against them. I think I’m over last year now. I still despise the Cardinals, but the Mets are far enough along that I can block out the NLCS and focus on the future. The Cardinals will not be standing in the way in October. The Mets have a big series coming up this weekend, and it’s good that they’re playing well again. If I could pick one stretch for the Mets to have a losing streak, June would be the one I would’ve picked. They lost games against mainly American League teams, who they won’t be competing against to win the division or even a wild card. An added bonus is that losing games to teams like Detroit and Minnesota actually hurts the Yankees wild card chances.
The Mets have a chance to gain a comfortable lead after a miserable stretch. They will actually go into July with a greater lead than they went into June. The Mets are 8-14 so far in June, and they actually have a chance at not having a losing June. I don’t expect this to happen, but it’s starting to look much better than it was.
To address the pessimists that think the first three weeks in June are more a measure of this team then the rest of the season, you’re crazy. I know the Mets were playing the so-called best teams in baseball, but that doesn’t mean the Mets stink. Besides the fact that the American League teams have an obvious advantage in interleague play, particularly at home, the Mets were just slumping. You could see it in their play. It’s not like the Mets were playing great, pitching well, hitting well, and not making mistakes. They played crappy, and they lost. I know they went through a similar interleague struggle last year, and it’s a sad coincidence that strengthens this bogus argument. If the Cardinals could beat Detroit last year, do you really think the Mets wouldn’t have?
Another negative point the pessimistic Mets fan likes to rant about seems to be that we need another starting pitcher. This is the rant of a fan that’s not paying much attention. Tom Glavine will be what he is, and he actually pitched well in the playoffs last year. El Duque can be a starter, or a long reliever, and is great in the playoffs. Oliver Perez is really starting to look like a clutch pitcher, and John Maine has had a measure of consistency this year, keeping the Mets in games. All accounts say that Pedro Martinez is progressing marvelously and he would be a bigger addition to this club then any trade could bring. The bullpen is another story. I would like to see some other players audition, whether it is through trade or call-up. I’m sure Omar is looking into solutions, and it’s still a month from the deadline, so he’s probably putting out feelers and expressing interest in guys on teams that haven’t given up yet.
Another bat is another common request, but I think it’s a bad one. Counting out Moises Alou, whose injury gets worse and worse the more doctors look at it, we’ve got Shawn Green and Carlos Beltran. After them, we’ve got Carlos Gomez, Endy Chavez, and even Lastings Milledge. These guys add sparks and excitement and the ability to mix it up, put out different guys and try to find someone hot is much more valuable then putting a acquisition out there. Especially if that acquisition is a guy like Sosa, who by many accounts is a cheater.
All I can say is, stop being so pessimistic. Have some faith in the team, in Willie and in Minaya. Enjoy the winning season rather then expecting it to be like 2003.