I'm still waiting for that Met no-hitter, but last night almost felt like one. Throughout the game, Gary Cohen kept noting the growing total of consecutive scoreless innings. Once the Mets built a small cushion with Jose Reyes' two-run double extending the lead to 3-0, the countdown began. 25 innings down, two to go!
In the ninth inning, Francisco Rodriguez came in to face the heart of the Phillies' order - Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth. K-Rod had allowed one run in his last five appearances and had an ERA under two. The Phillie bats were ice cold. But just one home run from any of these three power hitters would end the streak. A home run with a man on base, and the Phillies were right back in the game.
As anyone who watched the 2007 and 2008 seasons can attest, the Phillies are no strangers to ruining things for the Mets at the last minute.
But not tonight. Instead, Cohen screamed out the time of the conclusion of the historic feat: at seven minutes before midnight, the Mets had shut out the Phillies three straight games!
In some ways, it was better than a no-hitter. As Metsblog noted, via Elias, it was only the third time since 1876 that a team swept three or more games from a first-place team without giving up any runs.
And best of all, it was against the Phillies.
Three shutouts, none started by Johan Santana, but two started by Hisanori Takahashi and R.A. Dickey.
So that's five out of six against the Yankees and Phillies. Amazing!
But before anyone starts getting carried away, thinking the Mets are only a Cliff Lee or Roy Oswalt away from the postseason, remember that this team is two games over .500 at 25-23 and still closer to last place than first. They're great at home and horrible on the road, and so far have played eight more games at home.
One year ago, the Mets actually had a better record, 26-20, and were in first place.
There's a lot to be excited about - Jose Reyes is back and Mike Pelfrey is pitching like an ace. Hisanori Takahashi looks like he could be for real as well.
Let's hope the Mets can keep it up on the road, which they are going to need to do before they can truly call themselves a contender.