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New York Mets: Finally Over The Hump

by Daniel Marcillo
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With their doubleheader sweep of the Miami Marlins on Monday night, the New York Mets went to one game over .500 for the first time since May 2nd. The Mets have pulled off one of the most remarkable turnarounds in baseball history, but they are not done yet. On July 12, they were 11 games under .500 and seemed dead in the water. Since then they went 17-5 to turn their season around and get themselves back in the wild card race.

How Did This Happen?

The Mets have played some poor competition, but not too long ago they were the second worst team in the NL. They have taken care of business against the teams they need to beat. Most of the credit goes to towards the Mets starting pitching and bullpen. The ERA of their starting pitchers have been the lowest in baseball and their bullpen has been spearheaded by the Seth Lugo.

During this hot streak Lugo has only allowed one base runner in 12.2 innings out of the Mets bullpen. He is also starting to take save chances away from Edwin Diaz. The Mets need to get Diaz right and he has shown glimpses of finding himself again. In his last few innings he surrounded home runs or walks between three strikeouts where he looks like the Diaz of old. After pitching coach Phil Regan came out to speak to Diaz during game 1 on Monday, it seemed to calm him down.



The Calming Influence of Regan

There is a lasting impact from the 82-year old pitching coach. He brings a calming influence and has an answer for any situation. Regan was not some random guy the Mets picked to replace Dave Eiland. Regan had been in the organization for many years and worked with most of the Mets pitchers when they were in the minors. Most of the pitchers the Mets have are loaded with talent and the small adjustments Regan has made is taking them over the top.

Watching Regan interact with all of his pitchers is coaching gold. When he came out to speak to Diaz Monday, he came out with a smile on his face and made Diaz grin as well. He relaxed Diaz which led to him closing out the first game of the doubleheader. One of his other great moments is after, what could have been, Zack Wheeler’s last start as a Met. After Mickey Callaway removed him from the game you can see Regan greet him first with a pat on his back following a subtle fist pump as Wheeler walks by.

The Comeback Kids

Monday night’s comeback win was pulled straight out of the 2000 and 2015 Mets playbook. It took three home runs from J.D. Davis, Michael Conforto and Pete Alonso to get the Mets the lead. Alonso’s capped off the inning and drew flashbacks to the Mike Piazza home run down the left field line against the Atlanta Braves in 2000.

At 57-56 the Mets now set their sights towards the top two wild card spots. They have two more games against the Marlins, then three against the Nationals. The Mets are 2.5 games back and will have Stroman, Syndergaard and deGrom lined up against the Nats. If the Mets take either of the next two against the Marlins, you can guarantee a playoff atmosphere over the weekend.

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