By Mike Steffanos
Apologies again for the infrequent posting. My workload has been crazy, and I haven't been able to put the time into a site that I wish. I caught up on the box score links from the Phillies and Brave series and also the pitching stats earlier today. My work isn't going to let up any time soon, but I'm going to try to make an effort to get a game post up the day after every game -- even if it's just a few thoughts and a link to the box score so there is something there for readers to post comments.
That Phillies series may well have been the low point of a season that's had its share. Then Pedro joined the Mets in Atlanta and seemed to bring a breath of fresh air to a team that's a tad too buttoned down and unemotional. Maybe it's a coincidence that the Mets first 5-game winning streak of the season coincided with the return of their erstwhile ace, but I like to think his clubhouse presence provided a lift at the right time. It's been a long time since Pedro has been around, and I had almost forgotten the aura of winning that seems to attach to him. More than that, though, he brings a sense of fun that reminds me that this is indeed a game, and life and death. I don't think I realized how much I missed him as a Mets fan until I watched him pitch Monday. I hope he can stay healthy enough to pitch effectively and keep going out there.
There were a lot of folks, including many of those in the media, who read a lot more into four games versus the Phillies than they should have. Make no mistake, though, all the pitching matchups heading into the Atlanta series were unfavorable for the Mets, and we all know the history. If the Mets had dropped 2 or 3 this weekend, they might have really started pressing. That's been a fault of theirs during the past three months quite often. Instead, Atlanta has been all but buried in both the division and wild card races and the Phillies, at 5 games out, are only a game better than they were going into their sweep of the Mets.
While this isn't the year to get cocky, the Mets seem to have that air of confidence back with the return to the locker room of their spiritual leader. You may call it coincidence, but I call it Pedro.