The Mets just finished their road trip against two of the NL's weakest teams and went 6-1 so it's hard not to be positive. The starting rotation which the monkeys said was going to vault the Mets into first place has been dominant with John Maine's nagging shoulder injury the only slight concern. The lineup has been hitting consistently despite today's effort. Still, the bullpen remains the thing that most fans fear will keep the Mets out of October.
It seems like the Mets can get a few good efforts in a row from someone in the pen and then a bad one ruins any feeling of confidence you get. Duaner Sanchez got two huge outs against the Nats on Thursday then gave up a homer to the Pirates over the weekend and imploded this afternoon. Joe Smith had a couple of strong outings before struggling in his recent few. Aaron Heilman gets two saves, implodes, gets another save and who's not expecting him to implode again in at least one of his next three outings?
Fans are latching on to any glimmer of hope they can. Brian Stokes tosses 4 scoreless innings in a mop up role and fans dream he can be the 8th inning setup man we have lacked. Eddie Kunz comes from AA and fans think he can be our new closer. Ambi Burgos strikes out four in his rehab in the Gulf Coast League and fans feel he can save us in September. Maybe Luis Ayala can revert back to his 2006 form if they change his arm angle. These miracle remedies are probably not going to happen. Even if the Pen has a hot 30 -35 games (and they've had some very good 20 game stretches), too much has happened this season for fans not to be worried every step of the way. The Mets are going to make us sweat it out and they are either going to just get in despite their bullpen woes or the bullpen will cost them the playoffs.
The monkeys spent the weekend in Washington DC and visited the new ballpark when the Mets played there this past Thursday. It's a beautiful park with a lot of fun bars and some good food (get a burger at Five Guys). A Build-A-Bear stand is good for the kids. The monkeys loved the running of the presidents where Teddy Roosevelt takes the lead before always losing the race at the end for some reason bringing to mind the old Wacky Races cartoons where Dastardly and Muttley would always lose at the end.