This wasn't quite in the plan for this year.
At least, not that anyone was willing to admit. I'm certain that nobody's complaining, but after flipping the Dodgers twice, the Mets have now won 6 in a row and as we wake up this Wednesday morning amazingly find themselves in 1st place in the NL East.
That's not to say that these wins have been perfect. What's been most impressive about this homestand, which now stands at 8-1 with one more to go this afternoon, is that the Mets are playing imperfect baseball, and still coming out on top. Against Chicago, it was waiting them out until they got into their awful bullpen. Against Atlanta, it was capitalizing on poor fundamentals and timely errors. Yesterday, the Mets just beat the crap out of the Dodgers. Twice.
Tuesday was my 4th game of the season, although I hadn't planned on it being a doubleheader. Unable to sneak out of work early, I instead showed up right on time for the nightcap, arriving at Citi Field just as the Mets were putting the finishing touches on a 4-0 victory that saw Santana throw too many pitches too early in the game. This wasn't exactly encouraging, but then again it didn't end up being much of a factor in the final outcome. So, having been cheated by the weather out of seeing Santana for the 3rd time in 4 games, I settled in to watch Ollie Perez, who had a typical Ollie Perez start: Walk, hit, get out of a jam, look good, settle down, sail the first pitch of the 4th inning behind the batter's head, walk 2 more, give up a hit, walk in a run and get pulled from the game and booed off the mound. Another stupid Perez inning pretty much submarined the good vibes and just made everyone feel cold. If nothing else, Manuel had the foresight to see that Perez was coming unglued and got Hisanori Takahashi up early and brought him in immediately, but it seemed that Perez left enough of his stink on the mound that even HE walked in a run to tie the game.
No matter. The Mets came to hit against the fluttering knuckleball of Charlie Haeger, and they did just that. In the 5th, the Mets started coming up with a string of timely, 2-out RBI hits, something that you wouldn't have thought them capable of a week ago, sandwiched around Torre glumly pacing to the mound to remove yet another reliever I've never heard of. Wright had 4 RBIs, Ike Davis continued to impress, inside-outing a rocket of a double the other way, and I believe for the first time this season, the Mets plated 10 runs in a game, and by the 6th, most of the crowd departed, because, let's face it, it was ridiculously cold, hellaciously windy, and the outcome of the game was not in any sort of doubt.
And with Philly losing on the west coast, the Mets now find themselves 1/2 a game in front in the NL East.
I don't know how the hell that happened. And, again, I'm not complaining. I hope it stays that way. This is starting to become kind of fun again.