We're almost at the three-fourths mark of the season - 11 games left until that point. Since I didn't do a mid-year check, I'll do it at the 70% mark.
This year has been strange. It seems like the Mets have been fighting an uphill battle all year, but they still have the best record in the National League (and third best in the majors). It seems like most of the offense is still trying to get it going...as they have been since April. Even David Wright, who has heated up considerably since his early part of the season, doesn't seem like he's clicking on all cylinders.
Some things you had to see coming - I said early in the year that neither Jose Valentin nor Damion Easley would be the second baseman for the Mets come October. I didn't exactly foresee Valentin going down to injury, or, for that matter, either one playing as well as they did most of the season, but the fact that Luis Castillo is now the Mets' second baseman is definitely an improvement I've been hoping for since March.
But there were other things you didn't see coming - Shawn Green is just five back of Carlos Beltran in terms of games played in the outfield this year - who would have thought he would have logged the most games in the outfield this year? And after he seemed to have turned the corner last year, Beltran is back to his struggling self as a Met - looking like he's never seen a curveball.
The pitching has been by far the biggest, and most positive, surprise. From John Maine, who is having an outstanding season, to Oliver Perez, who has been a solid starter, to consistent Tom Glavine, giving the Mets a chance to win each time he goes out, to even the contributions of Jorge Sosa, who is now pitching out of the bullpen. The pitching has saved the Mets' season, because it took the offense so long to get going. The bullpen has not been as good as last year, but the most important member of that bullpen, Billy Wagner, is having one of his best seasons.
A lot of people were down on the 2007 Mets from the beginning of the year. But so far they've proven those people wrong, hanging onto first place from the get-go (or, at least, mid-May). Now, they are poised to get some key players back (Pedro Martinez*, Carlos Beltran), while some other key players start to find their way (Delgado, even Wright and Jose Reyes). That could result in the 2007 Mets looking a lot more like the 2006 Mets heading into October.
MONTHLY RESULTS: I haven't updated this in a while, but it seems worth doing, since May seems so far away:
The Mets are off to a great start in August - 4-1 through Monday. They have a lot of ground to make up after a couple of pretty poor months there.
YANKEES-BLUE JAYS: This Alex Rodriguez thing isn't going away. The Blue Jays threw at A-Rod on Monday - retaliation for when he yelled to try to distract the third baseman on a pop up earlier this year. Then, on Tuesday, Josh Towers threw at A-Rod. I would bet that if the opportunity presents itself, Wednesday's starter will also throw at A-Rod. The Blue Jays seem to have been extremely, extremely bothered by this incident...and it looks like they've been waiting for this series to exact revenge. I just hope no one gets hurt - you know how I feel about brawls.
NEW FEATURE: I draw your attention to the poll on the right. I don't have many readers, so this won't be the sample size of, say, other sites, but I thought it looked neat. Please, give us your two cents.
JOHNNYJETS: I hate to toot my own horn, but I was checking out johnnyjets.blogspot.com today, and I was pretty entertained by what I wrote at the end of last year. Therefore, I have decided to give the Jets site the same revamped treatment as this here Mets site. Check it out when you get a chance...there's also an update, and there will be more periodically leading up to the season.
Also, please let me know if you have ideas for the name of either site - I'm still reconsidering a change to this site name, and the Jets one definitely needs one. I invite your feedback.
FOOTBALL H.O.F.: Speaking of football, I didn't watch the induction ceremony, but I did see the highlights of the NFL Hall of Fame inductions. I've never been a fan of Michael Irvin...but hearing the clip where he talks about how last year's NFL Hall of Famers are all great people, in addition to football players, made me almost like him. Almost. A little humility (meaning humbleness, not embarrassment, just so we're clear) goes a long way, Michael.