Update: As I started writing this Vinny Rottino just went deep with a game-tying 2 run home run off of Cole Hamels. Which means, I should write more.
But to the actual point – after doing what good teams do (beating up on bad teams) against the Pirates and Padres, the Mets are now thrust into the spotlight on what is sure to be a litmus test going forward. Coming into Memorial Day the Mets are in 2nd place in the toughest division in baseball, with every team over .500 and probably top to bottom the best pitching in the majors. Think about it, the team with Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels is in last place. The N.L. East is going to be a dogfight all summer long and for the Mets, it starts as soon as we all put our first burgers and dogs of the season on the grill.
Update: And John Mayberry just un-tied it with his own 2 run homer. 4-2 Phillies.
The upcoming schedule is a venerable whose-who of playoff contenders and a winning record for the Mets would not only do wonders for the confidence of this young team, but it would also announce the team’s presence to the rest of baseball who were expecting them to be cellar dwellers. Of course, it’s all easier said then done when your next 25 games are:
3 against the Phillies (facing Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee)
4 against the Cardinals (who still have Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina)
3 at the 1st place Nationals (Strasburg, Zimmerman, Harper, and Gio Gonzalez)
3 at the Yankees (the Evil Empire)
3 at Tampa Bay (tied for 1st and ahead of the Yankees)
3 against the 1st place Reds (Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and Aroldis Chapman)
3 against the surprisingly in 1st place Baltimore Orioles (seriously, they’re pitching is good)
3 against the Yankees (The Empire Strikes Back)
Thankfully after that it’s 3 games in Chicago against the Cubs, but right after that it’s off to LA to play the Dodgers who will have a healthy Matt Kemp back.
Basically, June is the put up or shut up month for the 2012 Mets. It’s a murderous schedule until the All-Star break and anything better than 15-10 has to be considered a great stretch against that level of competition.
Update: Scott Hairston with a re-tying 2 run homer. It’s 4-4 and I’m finding it hard to focus.
Looking at the standings I estimate that the Mets need to go at least 13-12 in order to stay competitive as teams like the Phillies and the Marlins start to turn their seasons around. And while it’s way too early to project how the Wild Card race will look, what the hell, it’s fun. So the Reds and Cardinals are battling for the Central and so one of those teams will be in the mix with the rest of the N.L. East. It doesn’t look like there’s much competition coming out of the West right now, but Tim Lincecum hasn’t pitched like you’d expect so it’s possible that the Giants can still turn it around. Even if they do though, there’s not much chance of them catching the Dodgers, baring any sort of massive injury.
The Mets hold the fate of their season in their hands, with a chance to convince everyone that they’re more than just “a nice story” this year. Of course, as Mets fans know, nothing comes easy.
Update: Mets down 1-run in the ninth, and just like that Manny Acosta shits the bed again giving up a 3-run homer putting this one out of reach.