I don’t think I was the only Mets fan this morning who is a little surprised to see that they share first place with the Phillies. It’s like a cherry on top of Wednesday night’s sundae of a game. Seeing the Mets play an actual laugher of a game vs. the Nationals on Wednesday night was a welcomed surprise. I can’t recall the last time the Mets routed a team to the point where the lead was insurmountable. All too often this season, we have seen games where the Mets have built leads, but every Mets fan knew that it was likely either not enough to win, or just barely enough to give the win and give us all heartburn and some lost sleep.
In the last two games against the Nationals, the Mets have shown an ability to play bring their game to the lower teams as opposed to assimilating to their environment and showing lackluster play. It is vital to their success that they continue this through this weekend. A prime opportunity is in front of them to take advantage of the Pirates as they go into PNC Park in Pittsburgh for four games this weekend.
So far this season, the Mets are 1-2 against the Pirates at Shea. The two losses are mostly related to a shaky performance from Oliver Perez’s former self on 4/30/08 and a bullpen meltdown this past Monday that I’m sure none of us want to recall, but may have been the impetus for the pen to shake off their doldrums and actually pitch like they can.
In the past week, we have seen the Mets start hitting with the consistency that we would like to see. Seven of our regular players are hitting at least .300. Notably, we have seen Carlos Beltran shake off whatever funk he had stepped in and start hitting as he should with a .423 BA and 5 doubles in the last week. Additionally, David Wright has hit 3 HRs with 9 RBIs on a .433 BA in the same time frame. Last and most certainly not least has been the continued shine on our young star, Daniel Murphy. Murph continues to share left field with his platoon, taking on most of the right-handed starters, and has put up a .474 BA with 2 HRs and 6 RBIs.
In the last ten games, the Mets are 6-4 (should at least be 7-3) while the Pirates are 4-6 (should be 3-7 respectively). The Pirates have a team batting average of .261 (.216 over the last week), and have recently lost two of their main sluggers in Xavier Nady and Jason Bay. The Pirates’ team ERA is 5.12 against the Mets’ team ERA of 4.08. However, that is not indicative of recent play, as Pittsburgh pitching has been overachieving in the last week at a clip of 2.62 ERA for the team. Nevertheless, the Mets should be able to continue their recent surge of consistent hitting and march through this weekend taking at least three out of four from the Pirates.
We may not be able to put much distance between us and the Phillies as they go into San Diego this weekend, and will likely take at least two out of three. We can hope that the San Diego bats that beat the Mets recently (Jody Gerut is the new Reggie Jackson apparently) will do the same to the Phillies.