Jonathon Niese dominated the Pittsburgh Pirates yesterday. While there’s room to debate whether the Pirates’ lineup really is worthy of major league status, Niese’s performance was a big improvement over his start in Toronto last Friday when he allowed four home runs in three innings.
In fact, the Mets have won three of their last four games, bringing them back to four games above the .500 mark and into a tie with the Miami Marlins for third place, two games behind Atlanta.
And yet I feel like I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. Michael Salfino and Howard Megdal both point to some numerical analysis that suggests the Mets have benefited from a lot of good luck this season.
I don’t think you really need to get out the calculator to understand that point, though. It’s plain to see that Ike Davis, who had been counted on to be the Mets’ cleanup hitter and primary power hitter, often looks lost at the plate and could be spending Memorial Day in Buffalo.
Lucas Duda, the team’s other projected source of power, has four home runs so far. Daniel Murphy has been better than expected at second base, and he’s hit well – at least at Citi Field. But he’s turned into a singles hitter. After a fast start, Kirk Nieuwenhuis is trying to make adjustments to the pitchers who’ve adjusted to him.
Really, David Wright is the only Opening Day starter you could point to and say, “wow, what a great year he’s having so far.”
And while the starting rotation has had better results than I expected, the Mets’ new and improved bullpen evokes memories of September 2008.
I’m trying to enjoy the 2012 Mets’ success for as long as it lasts, but I can’t help wondering when their luck is going to run out. I’ll be at three of the 11 games on the homestand the Mets begin tonight. Hopefully fortune will continue to favor the Mets at least a little longer.