MIAMI -- It was a little after 4 p.m. on Wednesday, the day after the Mets had come from behind again, this time to beat the Marlins. One of the Mets' best pitchers, Jacob deGrom, had not been at his best. He and his team had blown a 3-0 lead,
MIAMI -- It was a little after 4 p.m. on Wednesday, the day after the Mets had come from behind again, this time to beat the Marlins. One of the Mets' best pitchers, Jacob deGrom, had not been at his best. He and his team had blown a 3-0 lead, and the Marlins eventually were ahead, 6-4.
But then, Wilmer Flores and Asdrubal Cabrera hit a pair of home runs, and Yoenis Cespedes knocked in a pair of runs later with a grounder that chased past third base, and the Mets had their fifth come-from-behind victory of the season. That's kind of a lot in April.
"You want to know something? I kind of expected it," first-year Mets manager Mickey Callaway said in his office in the visitors' clubhouse at Marlins Park. "I think we all did."
Then, Callaway said, "The way we've done things early doesn't just mean something now. I honestly believe they're going to mean something later. Because we're going to remember the way we've gotten things done so far."
Callaway's Mets came from behind again Wednesday night to sweep the Marlins, the same way they swept a better team on the road in Washington last weekend. It was the big story of the night at Marlins Park, not the fact that Miami manager Don Mattingly took out his starter Jarlin Garcia after six no-hit innings in the left-hander's first start of the season. Mattingly was right to do it, even the way things turned out.
Garcia wasn't going to go the distance. He had thrown more pitches (77) than he ever had, and as many innings as he ever had in the big leagues. You can go after Mattingly, but he was still right to pull his starter, even if it ended up costing him the game.
If there is any manager playing the long game this season, it's Mattingly, who is managing a young baseball team equivalent to what the Philadelphia 76ers used to be in basketball.
So Mattingly pulled Garcia, and then the night came crashing down on him and his young team in the top of the eighth inning.
It began with Kevin Plawecki, the Mets' starter at catcher now that Travis d'Arnaud is likely facing elbow surgery, getting hit on the hand. Michael Conforto doubled into the corner, then Adrian Gonzalez came up as a pinch-hitter and hit a go-ahead two-run single to center. The Mets not only were no longer getting no-hit, they were also no longer behind.
By the time the inning was over, the Mets were ahead, 4-1, and on their way to having the best record in the Majors. They are not just the best baseball story in New York City this April. They are the best story in baseball.
They aren't trying to win something at the end of the rebuilding process, the way the Marlins are. The Mets' young pitchers, including Zack Wheeler, who came back from the Minors and pitched a dazzling game, have already gone through the same kind of growing process that got Garcia pulled. The Mets are trying to win now, and they think they can after a franchise-record 10-1 start.
Amed Rosario, the young, gifted Mets shortstop, has gotten off to a strong start, too. The 22-year-old will eventually play himself into the conversation with the best young middle infielders in the Majors. He has already been in the middle of many of the good things that have happened with the Mets so far.
"The energy on this team," Rosario said through an interpreter, "is contagious."
There are all the young arms in the rotation. There are veterans at key positions all over the field -- Gonzalez and Todd Frazier, new to New York, and Cespedes and Jay Bruce. There are the young guys, Rosario and Conforto. There is Callaway, who has been a cool breeze from the day he showed up in Port St. Lucie, Fla., and began showing everybody in the room that he was much more than just the star pitching coach he had been for Terry Francona in Cleveland. Callaway is a baseball man, and a bit of a star.
"I know what our team is doing is exciting for our fans right now," Rosario said. "But it's even more exciting for us. It seems as if we come back almost every day. The atmosphere in here, with all of us, is so great. But everything is great when you're winning the way we've been winning. There's a different confidence with us this season, a different energy. We expect good things to happen."
The story of the night at Marlins Park on Wednesday wasn't Mattingly doing the right thing and pulling his starter after 77 pitches and six no-hit innings. It was the Mets notching a come-from-behind win, for the sixth time already. They are the big story of the early season, and not just in the big city.
The Marlins aren't going anywhere this year, even if Garcia had pitched another inning or two. The Mets sure might be.
Mike Lupica is a columnist for MLB.com.