The Shutout Gang Rides Again

Mike Pelfrey puts finishing touches on a historic series

By Josh Alper
|  Friday, May 28, 2010  |  Updated 8:30 AM EDT
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The Shutout Gang Rides Again

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When you retire 27 straight batters over nine innings, it is called a perfect game. 

There's no such moniker for holding the same team scoreless for 27 straight innings, probably because it has happened even less often than the 19 times a pitcher has set the opposition down in order.

So let's tip our caps with an extra bit of gusto to the New York Mets at this hour. Their 3-0 win on Thursday night was a lot like the ones that preceded it this week -- starting pitching of the highest caliber backed up by a lineup that's finally being led by the heroics of Jose Reyes.

Reyes drove in two runs and scored the third on Thursday thanks to his fifth straight multi-hit game, all wins by the by, and the team didn't need much more than Mike Pelfrey -- who is starting to look like he just might be a special one -- to make a little history.

The Mets haven't shutout the same team in three straight games since a 1969 series against the Phillies, it is only the third time in baseball history that a first-place team was swept in three or more games without scoring a single run and the Phillies became the first league champ in history to get shutout in three straight games.

Impressive stuff, impressive enough to make you giddy about what's happening with the Mets right now.

That's five straight wins against last year's World Series teams, a full trip through the rotation of strong starts and a lineup starting to fire on all the cylinders that matter. It's almost unthinkable what they've pulled off in a week, turning themselves from zeroes to heroes and turning the Phillies into a set of zeroes that boggle the mind.

Can it last? That's the eternal question with the Mets, isn't it?

It was just a month ago that the Mets left town in first place on the heels of a 9-1 homestand only to return home in shambles some time later. This road trip to Milwaukee and San Diego will give us some answers, but the upshot of it all is that there's still a reason to look forward to Mets baseball one week after it looked like the lights were going out. 

That's hope on a platter and you can't blame anyone for devouring it, even if they know that the same dish has made them sick in the past.

It's too sweet to pass up and too satisfying on the occasions it actually stays down.  

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.

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