By Mike Steffanos
Mets 12 - Brewers 4
Played Thursday, August 2, 2007
There was a time when the Mets offense would bail out a starter having a great day. We saw it for most of last year. Even when the Mets were winning in April and May, however, a quick look back tells us most of the wins were well-pitched -- not exactly shocking, given how hot the entire staff was early on.
When the pitchers started to falter somewhat in June, the offense had lost Alou and Endy Chavez and was struggling to put pressure on opposing pitchers. If the starter gave up a few runs early you pretty much knew you were in for a long day as a Mets fan.
The last couple of days, we've seen the return of a Mets attack that can fight its way back into a ballgame -- and also a return of the intensity and sense of urgency required to make that happen. Say what you want about the deadline moves the Braves made, it seems to have finally gotten through to the Mets that sub-.500 baseball won't cut it any longer.
Even with the absence of Carlos Beltran, the hot hitting of David Wright and Lastings Milledge, combined with the reawakening of Moises Alou's bat, have made this lineup far more impressive than it was a couple of weeks ago. The real question now is whether they can sustain a stretch of solid play for more than a few days. While I can't answer that, this series against Milwaukee was the kind of series they would have lost not that long ago. With Perez struggling early on Wednesday and Brian Lawrence in a generous mood to hand back leads yesterday, coming back to take both games is an extremely helpful sign.
It's hard to be too hard on Lawrence, who gave the Mets a serviceable 5 innings in his first major league start in nearly two years. He pitched well enough to be considered for another start, if not quite well enough to guarantee one. The man he replaced in the rotation, Jorge Sosa, seems to be settling in to serviceable relief work. Sosa has been very good against right-handers this season, so should be useful in some late situational matchups -- provided he proves he can come out of the gate throwing strikes. Much of Sosa's good work yesterday came when it was still a game.
Chicago Mets fan meet up.
Julie from Chicago Mets Fan asked us to pass the word on the following:
I'm also trying to organize a Mets fan meet-up before the Friday and Saturday games here and I was wondering if you might somehow spread this around. Trying to have everyone go to Merkle's bar around noon. It's right across from Wrigley on Clark Street. Very convenient. One of the owners is even a Mets fan.
Obviously we're too late with this for today's game, but if you're going to tomorrow afternoon's check it out.