Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Do The Best You Can

Too bad the Mets didn't play Philadelphia more often during their recent slumber. If they'd played a little more like they have against them all season, maybe we wouldn't be in this mess.

I'm still not totally convinced that this isn't just an indicator of just how bad the Phillies have been this season, but the Mets certainly have made the most of it if this is the case. Either way, their win tonight was their 7th in 8 games in Philadelphia so far this season, and their 10th against Philly overall, easily their best showing against the Phillies in several seasons (and the first time they've won 7 games in Philly in one season since 1972).

Matt Harvey was the primary culprit for the Mets tonight, delivering his third straight solid outing, giving up a pair of runs on 6 hits over his 6 innings of work, mixing in a number of strikeouts and a number of key outs in instances where he might have been in trouble. One such instance saw him navigate through Chase Utley and Ryan Howard in succession with 2 men on base, refusing to give in to their strengths and continuing to do what's worked for him over the past few weeks. At the plate, the Mets didn't do too much to build on last night's showing, but they did enough, including Harvey continuing to help himself out with an RBI single (raising his career batting average to .500!) and Lucas Duda chimed in with a Home Run, something the Mets need him to do if he's going to prove his worth. Duda also chipped in with some solid defensive plays and even a Stolen Base later in the game. 

The prevailing thought around the team appears to be not that it's good enough to finish the season in 3rd place. This is true, and nobody ever wants to finish the season in 3rd place. But right now, the way things have played out, that's the best they can hope for, and as such, they would have to finish ahead of the Phillies. Maybe last week's nightmare was the low point and the Mets will rebound with a solid September, but it's too little, too late as far as saving the season. A push to .500 would be nice, but it wouldn't cover up the fact that for the 3rd year in a row, the Mets fell apart in July and August after an overachieving first half. Right now, the Mets need to keep doing what they need to do to win. Tonight, it was to ride Matt Harvey and generate what they could against Tyler Cloyd. It's a formula that worked for them when things were going good, and when they abandoned that, and abandoned smart, sound play, that's when things went south. Right now, on August 29th, the Mets should want to finish ahead of Philly, and finish somewhere close to .500. At 61-69, they need to go 20-12 to get there. That's not an impossible task on paper. But anything more than that is more than the Mets are probably able to muster. You have to keep your expectations realistic, because it could just as easily unravel into 8-24 and a tango with the Mickey Mouse Marlins for the cellar if you're not careful.

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