Is this a mirage, are we actually witnessing something special happening with this Mets team. Have they woken up from their hibernation? We know not to expect anything special with this group this season, but what just happened this week, is somewhat confusing. Did it take for the Yankees to come into town for the Mets to finally start playing winning baseball? Was it the aura of the subway series that brought out the best in the team? Or have the Mets been trying to break out of this slump all season and it just took the Yankees invading their home for them to realize just how important and fun it would be to start winning again.
Two players this week have had their jobs on the line dependent on how they play, one being Ike Davis and the other Ruben Tejada. Ike has bought himself some time and Tejada basically saved a demotion by going on the DL. We know that was not done purposely, but it has bought him sometime to think about his recent play. The rest of the team didn’t go out and put a hitting clinic on, but they scored just enough runs to contribute to the current win streak, the really story this week was the dominance of the whole Mets pitching staff. They showed up and proved that finally they belong.
Starting with the Braves on Sunday night, Mets pitchers this week have showed signs of breaking out of their two month slump of pitching woes. It started with Shaun Marcum holding the Braves to 2 runs on 4 hits with 12 K’s in 7 innings of work, which allowed the Mets to win in fashion with 3 runs in the bottom of the 8th.
In the Yankees series the starters for the Mets were basically lights out. Starting with Jon Niese on Monday, he pitched 7 strong innings and only allowing 8 hits, 1 run with 4 Ks. The bullpen would do their job and hold off the Yankees as the Mets made their comeback to steal the first game 2-1. The next night, Matt Harvey basically dominated the Yankees all game by going 8 inns, allowing 6 hits and 1 run with 10 Ks. The Mets didn’t wake up in this game until the last inning when they ruined Mariano Rivera’s, say goodbye tour, and gave him his first blown save of the year with a 2-1 victory. Just two whole runs for the Yankees at Citi Field that must be a record.
On to Yankee stadium and the Mets continue on their high and score 5 runs in the first inning, and in this game, everyone but Mike Baxter gets in the hit column. Even Ike Davis contributed two solid hits in the win. Jeremy Hefner may not have been lights out, but he kept the Yankees at bay only allowing 3 runs on 9 hits with 5 K’s, in 6 inns of work to record his first victory of the season. You would have probably tossed up this game as a victory for the Yankees because Hefner came into the game with a 0-5 record and giving up more than 4 runs a game. But he pitched well enough for the win and the Mets bats supported his effort with a 9-4 victory.
Last nights game was more than just a series sweep for the Mets, it was welcome back Dillon Gee, glad you showed up for the party. Not only did Gee earn a victory last night, but he stifled the Yankees for 7.1 inns, allowing only 4 hits, 1 run and 12 K’s. What a performance on a night where a sweep probably was an unlikely thought giving the fact that Gee struggled against the Braves on Saturday night when he was tagged for 5 runs on 8 hits in only 5 innings of work. So with something to prove, Gee showed what he can do when he is running on all cylinders.
What a week for Mets pitchers, in the 5 game win streak, especially the bullpen, which allowed only 1 run on 6 hits with 8 K’s in 8.2 inns of work. The starters allowed 8 runs on 31 hits in 35.1 innings of work with 43 K’s. The numbers for the starters may not be masterful, but with how the bullpen did their job they contributed in allowing only 6 runs in 5 games and to help the team come away with 5 straight victories. Hopefully they can continue their recent success when they visit the Marlins (13-41) this weekend. After what the Mets did to the Yankees, nothing short of another sweep would be accepted against the Marlins, but maybe that is asking a bit too much from this bunch. Maybe this week was a mirage or could it actually be something to build on. I know that Mets fans, and myself, who have suffered through these past two months, are relishing now in the thought that maybe, just maybe the Yankees have helped to save our season. You have to start someplace and what better than a 4 game sweep of our cross-town rivals; it doesn’t get any better than this for now.