One lousy single from Brad Hawpe is all that separated the Mets from the franchise's first no-hitter. I don't really care so much that the Mets have never had one. I'll take the Mets' two World Series over however many no-nos the Astros have had since 1962. Don't get me wrong: it'd be nice to get one, and it'll be really exciting and I'll scream like a schoolgirl, but I don't really lament the fact that there's never been one. The Mets have had a zillion one-hitters, and with just a tiny bit of luck they'd probably have three or four no-hitters by now. But they don't, and they didn't get one on Saturday either.
Tangibly speaking, what they got was just as good: a win, pushing their current streak to eight straight victories and moving them to within a half-game of the Phillies for first place in the NL East. I don't want to say that this seemed unfathomable a week ago, because a week ago the we were in the middle of watching the series with the Phillies and imagining how great it would be to win the last three games and wind up 2.5 games out. But that's just what happened, and then five more wins after that. The Phillies are sputtering a bit and the Cardinals aren't playing so hot, so the Mets are actually just 1.5 games back of the Wild Card. All of this is heady talk when we're only 94 games into the season, but if it was fathomable a week ago it was certainly unfathomable a couple of weeks ago.
Whatever happens tomorrow, the Mets can finish the scheduled first half of the season no worse than a game and a half out of first, and could conceivably head into the All-Star break in first place (!). It's easy to get wrapped up in all of the winning, but you're never really as good as you look when you're on a hot streak and never quite as bad as when you're on a cold streak. The Mets are awesome right now: the starting pitching has been great, the bullpen has been great, the situational hitting has been great, the role players have been great. Is Fernando Tatis going to hit like this all year? Has Mike Pelfrey figured it all out? Is Aaron Heilman back to normal?
Hey, when everybody's playing great there isn't a lot to complain about. The gripers stay away and we're all happy. I'm not going to say the Mets are doing it all with smoke and mirrors, because they are legitimately playing terrific baseball. They've won some squeakers and maybe had some good luck along the way, but great hitting, pitching and unembarrassing fielding is a rock solid formula for moving up in the standings. Moises Alou is probably done for the year, but we really weren't counting on him to contribute much anyway. Ryan Church may be back sooner rather than later, as his recent dizzy spells have been attributed to migraines and not post-concussion issues. Hell, Orlando Hernandez and Angel Pagan are both making rehab starts with St. Lucie. Neither would have a tremendous impact on this team, but both could be useful parts down the stretch.
It could all fall apart tomorrow, but right now it's a lot of fun to watch the Mets play ball, and I guess that's all I really wanted to be able to say. Go out there and win tomorrow and we end the half on a high note.
Big winners: Pedro Martinez, +21.8% WPA, Carlos Muniz, +13.8% WPA
Big losers: Nick Evans, -6.7% WPA, Argenis Reyes, -4.9% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Iannetta double-play in 4th, +10.6% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Evans strikeout with bases loaded in 4th, -6.7% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +48.7%
Total batter WPA: +1.3%
Game Thread Roll Call
Nice job by Reg Dunlop; his effort in the game thread embiggens us all.
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