10:48 am Jun. 18, 2012
The Mets have a 35-32 record. That's better than pre-season expectations, but more importantly, it's strong relative to the records of the other teams in their division.
This weekend, even as the Mets got swept by the Cincinnati Reds and lost Jason Bay for a long time with another likely concussion, they hardly lost any ground.
The Washington Nationals, for example, who entered the weekend 4.5 up on the Mets, got swept by the Yankees this weekend, just as the Mets did a week ago.
The Atlanta Braves lost two of three to the Orioles, putting them just a half-game ahead of the Mets, but starter Brandon Beachy, easily the team's best this year, injured his elbow and was placed on the disabled list.
The disappointing Miami Marlins lost two of three to Tampa Bay, putting them 1.5 games behind the Mets. They are 4-11 in June and 33-33 overall, and based on the way they're playing, they seem lucky to be at .500.
The Philadelphia Phillies were swept by the Blue Jays.
Even outside the division, the Mets got help from the teams they're likely to be competing against for a wild-card playoff spot. The San Francisco Giants, current National League wild-card leaders, lost two out of three to the Seattle Mariners, the last place team in the American League West. The Giants lead the Mets by just two games.
So the Mets lost six of nine, including three in a row, and are still just a half game out of the playoffs, and within reasonable distance of the division lead.
The Mets may be making do with a downsized roster this season. But luckily for them, the competition seems to have shrunk right along with them.
Elsewhere in New York sports:
There's not much to say. The Yankees dismantled the Nationals in three straight games. They own the best record in the American League. They are 19-4 over their past 23 games, and swept three straight series for the first time since 1998, when they won 114 regular season games. This group isn't overachieving, just achieving. Only the status of Nick Swisher, who might hit the disabled list, clouds the picture right now.
The Red Bulls lost to the Chicago Fire, 3-1, and it could have been worse.
In case you were wondering if the Knicks needed a shooting guard, Iman Shumpert is aiming for a January return from knee surgery for a season that begins in November. So the answer is yes, they do.