…they pull me back in”. Those are the words spoken in Godfather III by Michael Corleone, head of the powerful Corleone family. I kind of get where he was coming from. Corleone had gotten out of the rackets, wanted a clean life for him and his family. But circumstances forced Corleone back in.
Much the same has happened to me. I really had come to terms with the Mets having another awful season. That is still a very real possibility. But with their fourth win in a row to start the season, how do I not start to pay very serious attention to what is going on in Flushing?
After a rocky start by Pelfrey I was in the mindset that a 3-1 season is still a really good start. After all, no one expects the Mets to go 162-0. The 2012 Mets, the fiftieth anniversary Mets, now join with the ranks of the 1973 Mets, the 1985 Mets, and the 2007 Mets. All of these teams won at least four in a row to start the season. With a win this evening, the Mets would tie the 1985 Mets who hold the team record from the start of a season with five consecutive victories.
All these clubs have something in common. They finished the season with a winning record. The ’73 club (82-79) won the NL pennant. The ’85 (98-64) and ’07 (88-74) clubs missed the playoffs. The prior in a valiant attempt to catch the Cardinals the last week of the season, the former crashing in spectacular fashion in the worst collapse of baseball history before last year’s Braves and Red Sox. So if history is any guide to what’s ahead, the Mets should at least have a winning record when all is said and done.
Of course I could very easily pay for such a silly prediction. There is always a first for everything. The four game winnings streak to start the season guarantees only one thing–the Mets are 4-0 after four games, that’s it.
The Mets are winning smart. Not everyone is contributing yet. Ike Davis has not got a hit yet. Jason Bay still looks like… well, Jason Bay. The center fielder, Andres Torres, was lost after one game. No problem, up comes Kirk Nieuwenhuis (new-in-house) and hits a game tying home run off the Pepsi Porch to tie the game. By the way, of the five home runs hit in the first four games at Citi Field this year, only the first one hit by Lucas Duda on Saturday would not have been a homer the first three seasons. The balls that will be crushed to left and right center, like Duda’s, will be where we see the big difference.
The pitching has been remarkable, especially the bullpen. Even Mike Pelfrey who looked as if he would melt down again, managed to keep the game close and let his hitters get back into it.
It’s a great start but it will come down to health. The depth remains thin but as long as this group can stay healthy, there is no reason these Mets cannot continue to compete.
Notes: It appears the 2.50 tickets for tomorrow’s game are sold out. Nice move by the Mets. But the negative talking heads still need to take pot shots because of the service charges on the tickets. Give me a break. The service charges is how the company that provides the ticketing makes money. I don’t think the Mets really have much say about that. Besides, four tickets for under 20 bucks is still a great deal.