There's a nice article in Tuesday's New York Times about Mets shortstop Alex Cora and his refusal to accept injuries, to even discuss them in fact, as an excuse for losing. It's a good attitude for the Mets to take into this week's series with the Phillies, because it's not like things are all rosy in Philadelphia.
If Jimmy Rollins isn't the worst hitter in the National League this season, he's in the bottom five. Cole Hamels is the only starting pitcher that's been pitching well for them, and, with Brett Myers on the shelf for the season, the Phils need to deal with a starter as badly as the Mets need to deal for another bat. And Brad Lidge is coming off a miserable weekend in Los Angeles, which came closely on the heels of a nightmare weekend in Yankee Stadium.
That's not to say the Phillies are reeling, because that's far from the truth. Lidge's six blown saves have been mitigated by superb work from the rest of the bullpen. And Rollins' spot on the bottom of the barrel is balanced out by the fact that Raul Ibanez and Chase Utley are having two of the best seasons in baseball.
What it says is that everyone's got problems and that the Phillies' problems didn't stop them from winning eight of 10 games. The Mets, for all their issues, still go into battle with Carlos Beltran, David Wright, Johan Santana and Francisco Rodriguez on Tuesday night. That's not what they planned, but it is what they've got and it is still enough to win a baseball game. That's just as true on Wednesday and Thursday as well.
This isn't meant to ignore the obvious differences between the teams. The Phillies hit and field much better than the Mets, and they're playing with much closer to a full deck. Over 162 games those things create gaps that are hard to close. Over three games in June, though? Not quite as large and the Mets can't think any other way.