It's strange that a weekend where the Mets took 2 out of 3 from the team with the best offense in baseball felt like a disaster. Friday night was a reprieve, Saturday was a washout and Sunday was a blur. Through it all, the Mets took 2 out of 3, and are now 3-2 since Marlon Anderson mapped out their path to the Playoffs. All I wanted Sunday was a reason to be excited for Monday, and Pedro Martinez and Robinson Cancel gave me one. The Robsinson Cancel who I was about to bash mercilessly if he had gone down swinging or looking during his pinch hit at bat.
With 94 games left in the Mets' 2008 regular season, they sit 5 losses behind the Philadelphia Phillies. It's quite daunting if you look up at the standings and realize that the Mets would have to sweep the California Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in order for them to crawl back above the .500 mark. But while the Mets are facing the Angels, the Phillies will be playing host to the Red Sox. If the Mets keep winning series, and if the Phillies' offense doesn't put up 14 runs a game, things will quickly start to get a lot tighter in the NL East.
Lost in the madness of Billy Wagner's meltdowns and Willie Randolph's job security has been the outstanding work of the Mets' starting pitchers. Johan Santana, who had been bashed by journalists and fans alike for not striking out 27 per game, has his ERA down to 2.85. Oliver Perez looks like he's slowly turning into a human being who can control himself. Mike Pelfrey has been a revelation. Pedro Martinez has had 1 brilliant start, 1 good one and 1 average one since coming off the disabled list, but one would think the best is yet to come from him. John Maine has been the only blip on the radar screen, and his ERA is still only 3.87.
The Mets are without Ryan Church because of freak concussions, and they're without Moises Alou because he's been neglecting to soak his legs when he urinates on himself for strength. Billy Wagner just went through one of the worst stretches of his career. David Wright just went through one of the worst slumps of his career, and you've gotta figure that the rest of Major League Baseball has filled their quota of June web gems against the Mets.
With all the crap that has gone down recently, the Mets sit just FIVE GAMES behind the Phillies in the loss column. After this week, the Mets will be done with their west coast trips. After this week, they will have hopefully shaved another couple of games off of the Phillies' lead. Like I've said many times, this team has it in them to start ripping the opposition apart. They need to take care of business on the road before coming back to Church, who will be ready to preach once they step off the plane on June 23rd.