Baffling But Awesome Start

Maybe I should move more often.  My family moved from Tennessee to Wisconsin two weeks ago, and about that time the Mets were slipping deeper and deeper into a funk, starting out with a 2-6 record.  It looked like Jerry Manuel and Omar Minaya might not last until the end of April with the team.

But then something happened.  After Mike Pelfrey won a stunning 5-0 decision in Colorado, the Mets took one game out of three with the mighty Cardinals — a marathon 20-inning contest in which Jerry Manuel clearly out-managed Tony LaRussa (with Pelfrey coming in to earn the save two days after his gem).  And then things really turned when the team brought up young phenom Ike Davis.  They took 3 of 4 from the Cubs, swept the Braves, and last night won the first two of three against the Dodgers.  So as we speak, the Mets are 12-9 and in first place, having jumped from last to first in that two-week span.

I’m not quite sure what to say.  I am baffled by this awesome start….incredibly happy, but baffled.  And it’s even more baffling to look at how the Mets are winning.  You might remember that the media, fans, and pundits from both the media base and fan base were throwing imaginary rocks at Minaya for not bolstering a weak starting rotation.  Yet, here we are 21 games in and the Mets have a 3.11 ERA, third-best in the majors.  And while they lead the league in walks with 106, they also lead in strikeouts with 170….almost one per inning!  That’s pretty amazing.

Then you look at the other side–the batting, which was considered to be more of a strength this season and at worst an improvement over 2009.  But the Mets are hitting just .237, tied for fourth worst in the majors, and have only 14 home runs, also ranking near the bottom.  By contrast, the Blue Jays lead the league with 28 homers. Of those 14, David Wright, Jeff Francoeur and Rod Barajas each have 3, and no one else has more than one.  That’s a bit troubling, but then again it’s only April and power numbers usually spike in the summer months.

So we can’t do anything now but enjoy this ride while it lasts.  And hopefully the team will continue to find ways to win as they have the last 10 days or so, and the winning ways will last for several months.