Amazin' run by Mets is just that -- amazing
When a team is playing baseball the way the Mets are playing it right now, the whole thing begins to feel magical. Guess what? That's exactly what it is. There's just no other explanation.
Sports is like that sometimes. It won't last forever. Who cares? Enjoy the ride as long as it lasts, fellas. Think no deep thoughts. Simply accept your good fortune and continue to make plenty of your own. These things can transform a clubhouse, if not a franchise.
The Mets won their 10th straight game on Wednesday night with a 3-2 victory over the Braves at Citi Field. Yes, 10 in a row. Longest win streak since 2008. Ride the wave.
At 12-3, the Mets have baseball's best record, they're perfect at home (9-0) and they got this latest one in the most satisfying way possible. That is, there were contributions from almost every corner of their clubhouse.
First, they came from behind twice. Thank you, Wilmer Flores, for those hits. The Mets scored the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning when they strung together a walk and two singles.
They got another dazzling defensive play from center fielder Juan Lagares. Nothing unusual there. His spectacular defense is part of what makes these Mets special. They got seven solid innings from starter Dillon Gee and another save from Jeurys Familia.
And the new guys continued to contribute.
Third baseman Eric Campbell doubled and scored a run in the second inning. He's hitting .286 since taking over for the injured David Wright.
Remember when Wright's pulled right hamstring seemed like the kind of injury that might derail the whole thing? He's critically important to the franchise, both on the field and off. Wright sets a tone for everyone in countless ways.
Yet one of the things general manager Sandy Alderson did in his construction of this roster was to be patient. He accepted some short-term pain -- and there has been plenty of it -- to build a roster 30-40 players deep.
Alderson's goal was to put the Mets in position to contend in the National League East. But once they got back there, he wanted enough depth to make success sustainable.
And so when Wright went down, Campbell was hitting .550 at Triple-A Las Vegas. He had been solid in Spring Training, too. The Mets knew they would miss Wright, but they also believed Campbell was ready.
Now the question is how they'll find a place for Campbell's bat when Wright returns. Don't sweat it, Mets fans. After eight straight seasons out of the playoffs, these are the kinds of problems good franchises have.
New catcher Kevin Plawecki contributed, too, with an eighth-inning walk and another solid defensive effort. At 24, he was playing in his second big league game on Wednesday after Travis d'Arnaud suffered a broken bone in his hand.
d'Arnaud's emergence in the second half of last season, along with that of first baseman Lucas Duda and Lagares, were three of the reasons the Mets felt so confident about this season.
They loved the mix of a clubhouse with those young players and such veterans as Michael Cuddyer, Curtis Granderson and Wright.
And as you know, the Mets love their pitching staff.
Even when Zack Wheeler was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery this spring, they believed that a rotation of Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Bartolo Colon, Jon Niese and Gee would be very solid. During the 10-game winning streak, Mets starters are 8-0 with a 2.63 ERA. Overall, only the Cardinals have a lower ERA.
The Mets also loved their depth, especially Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero. Now, Montero is headed back to the big leagues as manager Terry Collins pushes his starters back an extra day with a temporary six-man rotation.
And that brings us to Collins. His enthusiasm and energy are a huge part of the progress the Mets have made since the beginning of last season. Collins has helped bring those young guys along, and he's been a steadying influence for the veterans.
At the moment, it's all working. At plus-23, the Mets are tied with the Padres for the NL's best run differential, and their division lead is 3 1/2 games. Streaks like this can propel a club to another level, both in practical terms (performance, victories, etc.) and in the confidence that comes with weathering storms and winning games.
Collins never wavered in his belief that the Mets were good enough even as important players went down. Perhaps the best news of all is that they'll have a short night to celebrate No. 10. They're right back at it at 1:10 p.m. ET on Thursday against Atlanta in search of No. 11. Later on, they can look back and reflect on how it all happened. Not now, though. Now is about keeping on.
"It's been amazing," Collins said.