Sometime Monday afternoon, I was sitting in my office, and a colleague came in and asked me what the Mets record was. At the time, I knew it was 6-3, although I had to convince him it was 6-3 and not 5-4.
Following this, he asked me if the Mets were in first place. I said I didn't know. Incredulous, he responded, "But you're the author of "The Ballclub!" You're supposed to know these things!"
I suppose this is true. I was slacking on my civic duty, but then again, standings-watching in April is probably about as useful as, perhaps, predicting the Playoffs at the beginning of the season. So I wasn't totally on the ball, much as I wasn't on the ball last weekend, where the Mets existed primarily as some numbers on a phone app.
Last night, however, I was watching, in between my usual habit of making and eating dinner during the game, and I continue to like what I'm seeing. Behind Dillon Gee, who seems to have taken on the role of the Anti-Oliver Perez (guy with average stuff who knows how to pitch), wriggled in and out of a jam, kept the game tied early, got helped out by a sterling defensive performance from the somewhat-resurrected Jason Bay, and then emerged victorious when Ike Davis finally waited out Tommy Hanson's curveball diet and got one he could handle. All in all, a fine night for the Mets.
But, at 7-3, they're not in first place. I made sure to check this morning, in case I was called upon to know this. That mantle currently lies with the Washington Nationals. At 8-3, they are a half game in front. My co-worker noted this and wondered how you might explain this to a child, or a novice, how the Nats have played one more game than the Mets. His response?
"I'll tell you when you're older, kid."
Such is life during the Baseball season.