Mets Win Fourth Straight

The Mets are a season-high three games over .500.

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Hurdling every obstacle with the greatest of ease.

    The biggest difference between this year's Mets team and the ones that preceded it is the way they react to bad situations.

    Under Jerry Manuel, the team's philosophy was to throw up their hands and absolve themselves of any responsibility when things didn't go their way.

    An injury, a bad call by an ump or some other downturn made it okay to just sit back and take a loss.

    Terry Collins has given the team a very different approach. It's not okay to just shrug your shoulders when the negatives start flowing down the pike and it's not okay to passively pass the baton to others instead of finding a way to get the job done yourself.

    That was on vivid display in Los Angeles on Wednesday night. The day leading up to the game had its share of bad omens and plenty didn't go the Mets' way once they took the field, but when all was said and done they were 5-3 winners of their fourth straight game.

    Once again, the lineup didn't have Jose Reyes in it and talk about a trip to the disabled list fired up when word broke that he was going to get a second opinion on his MRI. It should be more shocking that the team is able to let the Reyes injury roll off their back, but after all the injuries that came before we aren't really surprised by their ability to keep moving forward.

    Sandy Alderson spoke to the media Wednesday and said that the next two weeks would be crucial as the team decides how to handle the trade deadline.

    That was a reminder that for all the good feelings, there's still a chance that this team will be selling before the month is out and that the season will be for naught.

    Once the Mets got on the field they had plenty working against them, but, once again, it rolled right off them like water off a duck's back. The sixth inning was the best example of this.

    Carlos Beltran doubled, then made a smart baserunning play to get to third on a flyout that ended with a fairly pathetic throw back to the infield by Eugenio Velez. In 2010, a Mets runner would wait for someone to knock him in, but Beltran's play meant he was in place to score with two outs when Hiroki Kuroda bounced one in the dirt.

    The Mets scored two more runs in the inning as they rattled off three two-out hits to open up a 4-1 lead. They'd need all of those runs thanks to the next bit of bad luck.

    Jonathon Niese allowed three runners to reach in the bottom of the inning and allowed a run, but got a double-play ball to help him out of the inning. Well, it would have if the umpire had not blown the call and called Matt Kemp safe at first to keep the inning rolling.

    The Dodgers would score once more on a sacrifice fly, but Niese didn't let the inning get out of control and maintained his composure well enough to get three straight outs in the seventh. Last year, that turns into disaster but the 2011 Mets know how to roll with the punches.

    In that spirit, we're not going to let it ruin our day that Francisco Rodriguez is piling up games finished faster than the United States piles up debt. If that's the price you have to pay to win, we'll just make the best of it.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.