By Jerry Del Priore
When it comes to the New York Mets (59-56) playing sizzling baseball, I have learned to temper my excitement.
Perhaps it has something to do with New York breaking the Flushing Faithful’s hearts so many times over the years?
But the Mets have won 13 of 14 to blast back into playoff contention, and the fans’ attitudes have changed.
After attending Tuesday night’s 5-0 win over the Miami Marlins at Citi Field, you could feel the electricity in the air. What an awesome atmosphere to experience.
For good measures, New York capped a four-game sweep of the Marlins, 7-2, Wednesday afternoon at home. Now, the Mets, on a six-game winning streak, are one game back of the second National League Wild Card spot (pending the results of the Phillies/Arizona tilt late Wednesday night).
Can New York keep up its winning ways? Well, the Mets are scheduled to host the second-place Washington Nationals in a three-game set this weekend and travel to Eastern Division-leading Atlanta to face the Braves next week.
Rookie phenome first baseman Pete Alonso said it time to “slay the giants.”
If New York plans on being a true postseason contender the rest of the way, its starting rotation, who’s posted baseball’s best ERA at 2.62 ERA since the All-Star break, needs to be what Mets fans have envisioned for a long time.
And it shouldn’t hurt to have recently acquired Long Island right-hander Marcus Stroman (6-11, 3.07 ERA) from the Blue Jays toeing the rubber in his Citi Field debut against the Nationals Friday night, though he did get roughed up for seven hits and three earned runs in 4.1 innings of work last week.
Let’s not forget the bullpen’s turnaround, which has gone from 28th in the Majors before the All-Star break, to second since then. It will need to continue to perform well, to say the least.
Add in the hot-hitting of Alonso, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Amed Rosario, and J.D. Davis, and you can see why New York has been surging like a wild rapid hellbent on redemption in the second half.
We’ll learn a lot about the team’s makeup soon enough. But please do not forget Alonso’s fiery four letters: LFGM!!