Just a week ago, everyone panicked because the Mets were about to hit the road. The Mets hadn’t won a road series since 2009 and ranked near the bottom in any possible statistic that had to do with playing on the road.
A week later, the Mets are coming off of back-to-back sweeps of two American League teams, the Orioles and Indians. These two teams may not be the best teams, but it is important for the Mets to beat up on the bad teams if they hope to compete down the stretch. The Mets have now won seven straight games, and 11 of their last 12. Their only loss since June 3rd was in a doubleheader, which is always difficult to sweep considering the variations in the lineups.
The latest turning point for the Mets was arguably when they were playing the Marlins at CitiField earlier this month, when they not only swept the Marlins, but they also cut loose some of their dead weight in Oliver Perez, John Maine, and Luis Castillo — at least for a little while as they rehabilitate their injuries in St. Lucie, Florida and elsewhere.
The difference in this team is evident when you look at how the starting rotation has evolved. Veteran knuckleballer R.A. Dickey as well as Japanese newcomer Hisanori Takahasi have stepped up and submitted some very nice starts. Dickey is proving to be a reliable arm in the rotation, which could be helpful down the stretch. Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey, and Jon Niese have remained consistent and really haven’t had any terrible starts in at least a month.
Not only has the rotation improved dramatically, but the lineup has been looking fantastic as well. Jose Reyes dug himself out of his early-season hole and is batting .371 with three home runs, 11 RBIs, and eight stolen bases in his last 23 games. In that stretch, the Mets are 18-5 and have climbed their way near the top of the division. Currently, the Mets trail the Braves by only a half a game.
Tonight the Mets will hope to continue their recent success when they travel to Yankee Stadium to take on the Yankees, who the Mets won a series against earlier this year.