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Sunday, June 01, 2008

Is the Magic Back?

Have the Mets finally reached the point where we can stop worrying about them after every single loss? Maybe not. Maybe we need a win Sunday night to complete a 5-2 home stand and two series wins. Luckily Santana is on the mound going for his 100th win, a number I'd sure love to see the Mets reach for this season. They don't even have to get there, I just want it to be a possibility on September first.

This last stretch of games has been different, the Mets have looked good, hungry, and like they're ready to have some fun. They struggled with runners in scoring position on Friday, but they won't get them all in every time. Sometimes the hits just don't happen, and when it's sandwiched with wins, it's easier to take. Even still, the game was theirs until they brought Heilman in, who apparently is trying to lend Willie and Omar a hand. Since Pelfrey and Vargas have both made cases for staying with the team, Heilman is ever so kindly offering himself up for demotion. He no longer should be allowed to pitch with runners on base, and it's getting to the point where he shouldn't be allowed to pitch at all. I don't care that the balls weren't really hit that hard, and that they just happened to find holes. He can't afford bad luck right now.

Sitting in the stands for my usual Saturday game, I was starting to feel a little sick with the Mets performance through seven innings. Not as sick as a girl a little bit to my left, who was physically sick at the sight of the Mets failing to score. More likely it was the ice cream, or something else entirely, but her actions mimicked how many of us were feeling. She stepped outside, and presumably started feeling better; probably right around the time Beltran's blast was clearing the fence. That's when something snapped. I realized the game wasn't as vomit-inducing as the usual Shea fare of food in the stands. (An aside, as much as I like the idea of restaurants displaying the calorie counts, I didn't need to know that a bag of peanuts has 960 calories or my footlong hot dog had 560, roughly one cent per calorie) Reyes made an error in the first, but Pelfrey did manage to get out of it after that, with help from a solid play at the plate. Reyes later made a terrific double-play in the game to help him out. Pelfrey buckled down and got seven strong innings, and Wagner is freaking scary good. Billingsly was apparently just pitching really well, because as soon as he left, the Mets released all their pent up aggression in the form of a go-ahead 3-run inning. The biggest deal was seeing Luis Castillo come up to pinch hit. Up until that point we all thought he was going to have to be placed on the disabled list, and we were all cringing at the idea of Easley playing any extended time there. However, it looks like Castillo is not that bad. He could pinch hit and while he didn't exactly fly, he got down the line fairly fast and didn't limp or cringe doing it. Church should be back shortly, and even Pedro will be back on Tuesday.

Speaking of Pedro, Matt Kemp was at the plate, and fouled off a pitched that bounced hard into the corner of the Mets dugout. Pedro started wagging his finger at him, gesturing that he's supposed to try to hit it between the lines. Assuming it's not just old age catching up with him, Pedro should be nice and recovered from his only leg injury ever and ready to contribute to this team again.

Do you feel that? That's the magic coming back.

Also, I don't care what anyone says, especially Joe and Evan on WFAN, who are so worried about being pro-Mets, that they overrate them at every turn, the Phillies suck. They're an 85-90 win team, just like last year, and that's just not good enough.

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