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The Right Kind of Streak

Mike SteffanosThursday, July 10, 2008
By Mike Steffanos

I made my fourth visit to Shea yesterday. My previous trips yielded two dismal losses and a rainout, so like Johan Santana I was hoping for a streak breaker yesterday. It took a little extra time and the need to dodge some raindrops, but in the end it was all worth it. I was also privileged to enjoy a blogger's night with old friend Greg Prince from Faith and Fear in Flushing, my colleague NostraDennis from this blog and Metphistopheles, the latter two who I was meeting for the first time.

I will be back later on with something on last night's game and also this afternoon's victory (stats for Santana and Maine have already been updated). For now, I'd just like to say what a pleasure it was to note the atmosphere at the ballpark both during the game and afterwards. With the club finally playing well the poisonous atmosphere that permeated Shea for so long was noticeably absent.

The sight of their team playing with a renewed sense of energy and purpose energized the fan base. Even when Jonathan Sanchez was putting zeroes on the board for the Giants there was no sense of foreboding that seemed to hover over Shea as the club struggled.

Carlos Delgado -- while certainly not the All Star slugger of a few years ago -- bears no resemblance to the stiff who was holding down the first base job earlier in the season.

On the subway home from the game everyone was relaxed and talking up their team. What a contrast from previous post-game rides.

Today's win padded the winning streak to 6 games -- significant, as you have to go back to 2006 to find the last time the Mets won 6 in a row. While the news about Alou's probable career-ending hamstring on top of Church's ongoing woes is gloomy, you have the sense that this club may find a way -- as they did so often two years ago.

I'm not going crazy here. The Mets are still in second place, and they still need to prove they can permanently distance themselves from the .500 mark. There are real problems that go beyond the corner outfield spots. Still, I like their chances of making this season interesting when it seemed not that long ago that they were a lost cause.

When they dropped 2 of 3 to the Yankees and then looked lifeless and flat in losing that first game in St. Louis, I wouldn't have given you a nickel for their chances of ever really contending. They were showing signs of waking up, but always seemed to have a game like that one to kill any momentum.

They're still not a great team, but they have enough to contend. What's more important is that they actually finally seem to have what it takes to do so. Say what you want about the way Randolph was fired, but Jerry Manuel has done some things very, very right in his short time in charge. Even a blogger like me suddenly feels a new sense of energy. Back later.

About Mike: I was the original writer on this web site, actually its only writer for the first 15 months of existence. Although I am grateful for the excellent contributions of my fellow writers here, I have no plans of stepping back into strictly an editorial role. I started this thing in the first place because I love to write and I love the Mets, and blogging here keeps me somewhat sane. If you haven't had enough already, more bio info can be found here.

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Comments (3)

They seem to be bringing a new found intensity to the game. They have a notion that the can win regardless of the deficit, and they are getting mostly good outings from the starters. Confindence and finally some consistancy but I am still worried about the outfield corners. I would like to get Church back, but his health is the main concern. Do you think they make a move to get a corner outfield bat and maybe another arm for the pen? Have you heard anything about Freddy Garcia? Overall I am just glad to see them playing meaningful games again, and they are doing what it takes to make some type of run. Go Mets! I have taken off the caution sign, but am still yeilding to the right of way!

What is your take on a possibility of the Mets acquiring Johnny Gomes (low risk), Chad Bradford (salary dump), and Tony Clark (vet, PH)?

I guess I'd rather see them take a chance on a salary dump guy than pay through the nose for a guy like Nady. I wish Clark could hit from the right side. I love his makeup, but they don't need another lefty bat.

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