The Mets didn’t win anything on their recent homestand and they won’t win anything this weekend in Philadelphia.
Neither will the Phillies.
The most important thing coming out of the homestand, and this weekend’s series, is it has made the Mets’ season relevant again. It might have started with the promotion of Ike Davis and ended with perhaps the best 10-game regular season stretch in franchise history, but in between we saw the Mets play alert, aggressive baseball.
We saw the Mets play as they promised us they would. We saw them play as if they wanted our attention.
And, they deserved it.
What I am looking forward to in this series are three games of intense baseball, of a rivalry where the competitive juices are flowing.
After all the promoting it as such, it finally is a rivalry worth paying attention to again. Each one of the games has a special nugget of intrigue.
Tonight is about Jon Niese and how the young pitcher will respond to the pressure of a high profile game. Niese giving the Mets six strong tonight will go a long way toward answering some of their pitching questions. It would also prevent an emotional let down.
After a week-and-a-half of being on an emotional high, tonight is about sustaining. The last thing we want to see is for Niese to get hammered and to lose that good feeling.
Tomorrow, and this is the game I really want to see, is Mike Pelfrey against Roy Halladay. In a season full of tests for Pelfrey, this is another one. Aren’t you curious about seeing him go against an ace?
Sunday it is the stopper, Johan Santana, who would be pitching to either stave off a disappointment or continue the ride. It will be as important a game as you can have in May, and you want your best.
The Mets went 9-1 because they played to their capabilities, but also because they did not try to exceed them. They played within themselves and didn’t try to do something they weren’t capable of doing.
They need that same, level approach this weekend, and if they get it, then it could be the start of a wonderful summer.