Last week on this site, there was a headline following a Yankee win over the Orioles that read "Baltimore: Where the Yankees Go to Get Well." Little known fact: That's actually a Mad Lib with all the words filled in other than a blank asking you to insert a team name where Yankees sits.
This weekend it is the Mets who occupy that spot thanks to their three-game sweep of the hapless residents of Camden Yards. The Yankees use their games against the Orioles to stabilize their record after battles with decent teams, but the Mets had a slightly different goal for their trip down I-95. They needed to win a few games on the road and prove that they actually were able to win a few games outside the friendly confines of Citi Field.
Mission accomplished. Moan and groan about the level of competition if you like, but the games count just as much as the ones the Mets lost to the only slightly less horrendous Brewers last month. The Mets simply need victories and don't need to apologize for getting them against teams of any flavor. This was their first road sweep since the last days of the Bush administration, after all.
If you do want to harp on the opponent, however, you must at least capitulate on the way the Mets beat up on baseball's worst team. They did it like the prototypical bully, pinning the Orioles down by the shoulders at the first minute and then toying with them for the rest of the proceedings. Every now and then it would look like the Mets would allow the Orioles to wriggle free but then it was, wham, and the shoulders were back down on the floor while a purple nurple or wet willie was being applied to a team that bought an economy pack of them.
That was Sunday in a nutshell. Five runs in the top of the first inning were followed by two off of Mike Pelfrey in the bottom of the frame and one more in the second. He looked uncomfortable in the sweltering Baltimore heat and it seemed like this was desinted to be a high-scoring affair. Turned out that Pelfrey was just providing a false sense of hope before turning in four shutout innings and the Mets bats kept banging out runs until the end of the 11-4 victory.
Jason Bay had four hits, Chris Carter hit a home run and Jesus Feliciano got his first big league hit as part of the assault. David Wright also blasted two home runs which would have seemed to help the cause but he also struck out once. We know the way some Mets fans feel about Wright's so-called productivity so we wouldn't dare cross them by saying that he played well.
Just kidding. He played great and the Mets are collectively playing so well that Monday's off day seems like a conspiracy to steal their thunder. Don't complain too much, though. The schedule remains kind to the Mets this week with a trip to Cleveland, the Orioles of the Midwest, and we could be looking at a battle of first place teams in the Bronx come the weekend.