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Mets refuse to lose

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Bill wrote about the Mets’ seeming inability to lose last night but, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’m gonna write about it again. Because they just won, again, beating the Miami Marlins 7-2.

Michael Conforto hit two homers, Jeff McNeil hit his fifth homer in his last 10 games and Pete Alonso went deep as well. Steven Matz cruised on all that cushy run support, scattering seven hits and two runs over six and two-thirds to get the win.

The win is the Mets’ sixth in a row and gives them 13 wins in their last 14 games. They’re 19-6 since the All-Star break.

As I noted in the recaps this morning, those wins have come against some real creampuffs — the Marlins, Pirates, White Sox and Padres — but that does not take away from this run one bit. Yeah, I’ve seen some people cite “weak schedule” but this is not some 9-5 run. It’s 13-1 and even the best teams don’t do that very often. Indeed, there have only been two other 13-1 stretches in Major League Baseball this year, with the Astros in May and Yankees in June. The Mets haven’t won 13 of 14 since 1990.

More broadly, the good teams in baseball are good, mostly, because they take care of business against the weak ones. And rarely do they run the table against the weak ones as well as the Mets have in the past couple of weeks. This ain’t college football and no Major League team is the equivalent of Mercer University or whoever is the patsy du jour.

Are the Mets this good? No, because no one is this good over the long haul. But they are having a terrific run, those wins are in the bank and it’s pushing them into the playoff picture. After that, all bets are off.

Japanese Baseball to begin June 19

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Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.

The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.

The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.

In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.