Bronx, NY – Jeff Francoeur is enjoying this.
Not only are his Mets on fire, but they are embroiled in a race with his former club, the Atlanta Braves.
“I’ve spoke to [Braves catcher Brian] McCann and the guys,” Francoeur said. “But we are just concerned about winning here. As long as we win, the standings will take care of themselves.”
Winning they have been doing. Eight in a row and 12 out of 13, the Mets have made themselves a force in the National League East, doing it the old fashioned way, by pitching and timely hitting.
It’s true the club went through the dregs of the American League last week and may be catching the Yankees at the right time, as the Phillies put them into a slump earlier in the week, but to a man they will take it.
You play the schedule you are given and remember, no one complained when the Yankees were feasting on Indians and Orioles earlier in the year, nor does anyone in the NL East give the Mets a break when they are forced to play the Bombers six times a year.
All of this doesn’t seem to bother this club.
“It looks like we have a real good team here,” said this week’s designated hitter Chris Carter.
With nine rookies on this club ranging from 20 to 35 years old, they may be too young and inexperienced to realize where this team was picked to finish dead last in the east. Too old and too dysfunctional to be considered a contender, with last Thursday being Jerry Manuel’s witching hours, the two year anniversary of Willie Randolph’s ouster and his ascension to the Mets managerial office.
For a while there, it looked like the prophecy will come true. Just a month ago, Jeff Wilpon took an emergency flight to Atlanta in order to rally his minions, with a firing on the horizon. But Manuel turned it around, first by crushing the competition at home and now becoming the Mets road warriors.
It’s still just June 19th and there’s plenty of baseball left to play, but right now everything seems right in Metsville as the team trails the Atlanta Braves by a half a game, with their best pitcher in Mike Pelfrey on the mound later today at Yankee Stadium.
Now the Mets have a chance to keep it going or as Francoeur said, give him a chance to “kick the bleep out of the Braves the next month.