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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Can't Rain On This Parade

Five in a row! Again! Suddenly, the sky is blue and the paths are rosy. The Mets can do no wrong, the bench players come through with big hits, the bullpen and starters don't allow runs and the Mets win the games instead of finding ways to lose.

Nothing has changed and yet everything has changed. Pelfrey looks so good that even the Mets of next year look good! The biggest difference in my eyes has been Carlos Delgado. Delgado is finally hitting the baseball hard, laying off of bad pitches, and driving it all over the place. I think Delgado has suddenly become better than he was in 2006, where he was even streakier. His ability to hit the ball hard has changed this lineup drastically, and he's starting to scare pitchers again. He's suddenly gotten his batter's eye back, and as he hits more, pitchers will pitcher him more carefully, which means he'll be able to draw more walks and consequentially, make less outs and ground into less double plays. If he remains hitting sixth, whoever hits in front of him is going to find more pitches to hit, and do better themselves. I know Endy has been playing well, but it's no surprise that since Delgado has started hitting, this offense has been hot and those outfield holes have looked a lot smaller. Smaller holes means less desperation for Omar to find another outfield bat, and less desperation means he can be patient and find that diamond in the rough without sacrificing prospects and the future. I look forward to see what he can do over these next three weeks.

Except for a brief euphoria after Santana's opening game win, or the brief glee we felt in April of 2007 starting with the vengeance sweep of the Cardinals, this may be the happiest Mets fans have felt since Endy came down with that catch. There will still be rough patches; The Phillies aren't a great team, but there offense will have more hot streaks where they win a stretch of games. This is irrelevant if the Mets continue to perform as they have, as they'll far outclass the Phillies. There are four games left before the break, and for the first time I find myself not agonizing over having to have a certain record to match a certain record to the Phillies. Barring catastrophe, we'll go into the break with a virtual clean slate; able to outplay the Phillies, and the Braves and Marlins and Nationals, and win this division.

Chances are the Giants will find a way to score at least one run in their trip to New York, but I have a lot of confidence in John Maine to get the job done tonight. Let's Go Mets!

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