The New York Mets have the seventh-best record in Major League Baseball as we move toward the first of June.
It's not a misprint. It's not a fantasy league position. It's not a statistic from 10 or 15 years ago. It's the miraculous news of today.
Cue the disclaimer. No one expects it to continue. Everyone expects the bottom to fall out at some point. There are simply not enough major league ready players, and all the young Mets have been overachieving to date. All true.
But who would have thought expectations of the Mets four-game series with the San Diego Padres at Citifield in New York to be so one-sided. You heard three-out-of-four talk prior to the series as if this was the 2006 version of the New Yorkers. While, yes, the Padres are awful, and injured, weren't the Mets also expected to be awful and injured - mostly because they're always injured?
The latest shocker in Flushing is the play of Mike Baxter. Who? He's another anonymous Met to emerge from nowhere to be a contributor, stroking the ball at a .345 clip currently. He's batting leadoff while Andres Torres recovers from being terminally frigid at the plate. So one guy retreats into the shadows, and another peaks out from them to take his place, if only for the short term. It is really a remarkable story, these Mets of Flushing.
Of course, pitching is always the great equalizer, and Johan Santana, R. A. Dickey, and Jonathan Niese are formidable enough, most of the time, for the Mets to remain representative. Certainly, they are assisted greatly by the other National League teams, most of them relentlessly mediocre. And now, with Roy Halladay suffering some sort of soreness in his arm, perhaps the Phillies will be even less formidable than they once were perceived.
In baseball, fortunes can change in a few days. The Phillies come to New York now (May 28) and could author revenge for the Mets' recent sweep in Philly. But at least for a few days, the Mets are more than relevant - they're dangerous.
Glenn Vallach has been a New York Mets fan since foolishly abandoning the mighty Yankees in his youth after Mickey Mantle retired. Since the fond, fleeting memories of the Tom Seaver, Cleon Jones, Tommie Agee years, he sits quietly yearning for a fraction of the success enjoyed annually by the team that inhabits the borough in which I was born...waiting and hoping...waiting and hoping.
- · Yahoo! Sports New York Mets page
- · Yahoo! Sports Johan Santana page
- · Yahoo! Sports R.A. Dickey page
- · Howie Rumberg, The Associated Press, Dickey shuts down punchless Padres
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