Friday, July 26, 2013

To Be The Best, You Have To Beat The Best

Jenrry Mejia photo by Evan Vucci/AP

The Mets have the best record in the NL East since June 18, playing .600 ball over the last six weeks.  Slowly, but surely, they have been creeping closer to the Phillies and Nationals in the standings.  They are also starting to appear in the Braves' rear view mirror, although Atlanta is still a safe distance ahead on the highway.

New York is defeating everyone these days.  They're beating lefties, righties, rookies, veterans.  They're even defeating pitchers who rarely lose to anyone.

Here is a list of some of the pitchers the Mets have defeated this year, along with their win-loss record or number of saves for the season:

  • April 21:  Mets defeat Jordan Zimmermann (12 wins, 6 losses).
  • May 9:  Mets defeat Jason Grilli (league-leading 30 saves).
  • May 16:  Mets defeat Adam Wainwright (13 wins, 5 losses).
  • May 28:  Mets defeat Mariano Rivera (second in the majors with 33 saves).
  • June 12:  Mets defeat Shelby Miller (10 wins, 6 losses).
  • June 20:  Mets defeat Mike Minor (10 wins, 5 losses).
  • July 2:  Mets defeat Patrick Corbin (12 wins, 1 loss).
  • July 21:  Mets defeat Cliff Lee (10 wins, 4 losses).
  • July 26:  Mets defeat Jordan Zimmermann again (see record above).

There are five pitchers in baseball with 30 or more saves.  The Mets have pinned losses on two of them.  There are four pitchers in the National League with 12 or more wins.  The Mets have defeated three of them, including the Diamondbacks' Patrick Corbin, who has not lost to anyone else this season.

In addition to the above pitchers, the Mets have also defeated Roy Halladay, Stephen Strasburg, Dan Haren, Matt Cain and Cole Hamels (twice).  All of those pitchers have had very successful careers - except against the Mets in 2013.

The Mets still have a sub-.500 record.  But they are getting strong pitching, clutch hitting, and they are beating some of the best pitchers in baseball.  That's a recipe for long-term success and makes the Mets a formidable opponent.

There is no pitcher in baseball and no team in baseball that is scaring the Mets right now.  But perhaps it should be the Mets' opponents who should be scared of them.  To be the best, the Mets have to beat the best.  They've been doing just that and are showing no signs of stopping.

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