The New York Mets had their share of ups and downs in May. David Wright started the month on fire and cooled off over the last few days, knuckle-balling R.A. Dickey emerged as the staff ace and the bullpen imploded more than a few times. Overall, the Mets (28-23) finished baseball's second month with a record of 15-13. Looking back at it all, here are the five best Mets moments of May.
Santana's Shutout (May 26) -- Santana, who missed all of last season recovering from shoulder surgery, was in vintage form against the San Diego Padres in his last start of May. The former Cy Young award winner pitched a complete-game shutout -- his first since Aug. 12, 2010 -- with seven strikeouts. Mike Nickeas added the icing with a grand slam home run in the eighth inning, as the Mets won 9-0.
R.A. Dickey Knuckles Up (May 27) -- The soft-tossing Dickey was the team's best pitcher of the month. In five May outings, he went 4-0 and allowed only seven earned runs. Furthermore, the Mets won all of his starts. Dickey finished May with back-to-back games of at least 10 strikeouts, the second one being his best start of the month. He retired 10 Padres on strikes in a 2-0 win.
Banner Day Returns (May 27) -- Banner Day, which originated in the Polo Grounds and last was held at Shea Stadium in 1996, made its triumphant return at Citi Field in May. The beloved tradition in which fans parade on the field with homemade banners was revived this year in honor of the team's 50th anniversary. In the past, the celebration was held between games of double-headers.
Jordany Valdespin (May 7) -- In the most shocking Mets moment of May, rookie Jordany Valdespin smacked a pinch-hit three-run home run -- his first career hit, no less! -- off prized Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon, as the Mets defeated Philly, 5-2. Valdespin's unexpected heroics completed one of the team's many comebacks of the young season and led to the top Mets moment of May.
Mets Sweep the Phillies (May 7-9) -- Early in the month, the Mets swept three games from the Phillies in Philadelphia for the first time since 2006. Furthermore, New York came from behind to win each of the three games. In the series finale, New York rallied twice and broke the game open in the eighth inning on a three-run home run by Ike Davis. It was the second series victory for the Mets in Philly in 2012.
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Adam Martini is a freelance sportswriter who grew up in Queens, N.Y. with a view of Shea Stadium from his bedroom window. He spent many nights in the upper deck at Shea rooting for the Mets. You can follow him on Twitter @PegCitySports.Sources
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