The Mets might not be contenders come July, but we can at least hold off on the fire sale talk for a few days. With a 2-1 win over the Yankees last night, the Mets are back at the .500 mark (22-22) for the first time since April 9.
R.A. Dickey, who entered the night with a 5.08 ERA, tossed six innings of one-run ball for his first win since his first start of the season. Justin Turner continued his hot hitting by going 3-for-4 with an RBI double while Daniel Murphy put the Mets ahead with a solo shot in the sixth inning. Francisco Rodriguez pitched for the third straight day and converted his 15th consecutive save.
The Mets were 5-13 as recently as April 20, but have won 17 out of their last 26 games. Yes, they have had some surprising contributions from the likes of the Jason Pridie and the aforementioned Justin Turner, but the big key has been the pitching staff. They have an impressive 2.89 ERA since April 20.
Sure, many still wonder when Sandy Alderson will take a hammer to the roster or how the club will find a way to avoid K-Rod’s vesting option, but the team’s recent surge should put a stop to all that. At least for a little while. It’s depressing, anyway. It’s time to enjoy the season for what it is.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo has an interesting report today. MLB and Rawlings are developing a new baseball. It will have a tacky surface on the leather, allowing pitchers to get a better grip without having to resort to sunscreen and rosin and pine tar and stuff. Substances which, in theory, are for grip but which are really used by pitchers to doctor the ball, with MLB and opposing hitters mostly looking the other way.
They tested the new balls in the Arizona Fall League last year and Passan talks to a couple of the pitchers who used the ball. More testing would be required, though, so we’re not likely to see the new balls until at least 2018.
As you know, baseball players love change, so I’m sure we won’t hear another thing about the ball and its introduction will go off seamlessly.
Wait. It’ll still have seams. You know what I mean.
The first few days of spring training have been pretty quiet. Guys are going about their business and games are being played, but we haven’t had any news or controversy or silliness or anything fun like that. That’s about to change, however, as Tim Tebow has arrived at Mets camp.
Tebow, a non-roster invite, arrived at the Mets facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida this morning and, unlike every other non-roster invite, had a press conference. You may be surprised to learn that he’s in great shape, is excited to get going and wants to improve steadily each day.
The plan for Tebow is to be a part of the minor league camp, not the major league one, so he’s not going to be as visible at workouts as you might expect. He will be playing in some major league spring training games, however, at least until we get deeper into spring training, after which you’d assume that veterans and players with a real shot of making the big club will play longer.
In the meantime, you can buy Tebow shirts. But not Curtis Granderson ones, it seems: