A month into the 2012 season I wrote:
One month ago if you told Mets fans that on May 1 the Mets would be three games over .500 and a game and a half out of first place, I think most of them would be pleased. Well, that’s where we find ourselves today.
Well, here we are on June 1 and the Mets are still a game and a half out of first place and are five games over .500.
Last month I asked, “how have they done it?” A month later that question is is still difficult to answer.
Pitching? The team ERA is 4.49, second-to-last in the National League. Johan Santana and R.A. Dickey have been sensational, but the rest of the rotation has been up and down. Overall the bullpen has been just short of awful, blowing leads and saves left and right.
Hitting? The team batting average is .260, good for fourth in the league. On-base percentage is .333, third in the NL. But they are 14th in home runs and 11th in slugging percentage. Somehow the Mets are fifth in runs, but they’ve been outscored by 24 runs.
Ike Davis has slumped all season, Lucas Duda is just scuffling along, and Jason Bay, well, is he still on the team?
So how have they done it? Timely hitting. It seems that whenever the Mets need a big hit, someone gets it, whether it is David Wright, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Daniel Murphy, Scott Hairston or Mike Baxter, who has come out of nowhere to become the best pinch hitter in the game.
After years of watching the Mets fail time and time again in the clutch, it is nice to see them coming through. That is the mark of a good team. And so far it appears the Mets are indeed a good team; if the season ended today, the Mets would be the second Wild Card.
Terry Collins deserves much of the credit. He is really holding this team together through all of the injuries. I thought Collins was a bad hire, but I’m happy to say I was wrong. He deserves consideration for Manager of the Year.
I wrote a month ago that the Mets faced the difficult task of repeating their fine first-month performance five more times. Well, one down, four more to go.