NEW YORK -- As of 10:13 p.m. ET on April 16, 2015, the New York Mets own first place in the National League East.
It may not last long. Or maybe it will? Baseball's a funny game. But one thing's for certain -- the generally underachieving 'Amazin's' have emerged as one of the best stories of the first month of this season.
They won their fifth game in a row Thursday, 7-5 over the Miami Marlins, marking their first five-game winning streak in nearly two years. It's the longest current streak in the majors, and at 7-3 overall the Mets now have a half-game lead over the second-place Atlanta Braves.
But manager Terry Collins threw cold water on the achievement afterward, when asked if first place at the moment means anything to him.
"Uhhh, [on] October 1 it'll mean a helluva lot," Collins said.
He's right, of course. It's a very long season, and we're just getting started. More encouraging than the standings, though, is the way this team is playing right now.
After losing captain David Wright to a hamstring injury Tuesday, the Mets have responded with two straight victories. And the win Thursday over the Marlins was even more impressive than the day before against the Phillies.
The Mets fell behind 3-0 and 4-3, with Dillon Gee giving up early home runs to Giancarlo Stanton and Martin Prado. But they rallied each time -- tying the game at 3 on a three-run homer by Wilmer Flores in the fifth inning, and taking a 5-4 lead in the sixth on an RBI single by Michael Cuddyer and a sacrifice fly by Eric Campbell.
Even after the Marlins tied the game at 5 in the seventh -- on a controversial play, with Ichiro Suzuki initially being called out but then ruled safe after a lengthy review -- the Mets immediately responded. With runners on first and second and two outs in the bottom of that inning, Lucas Duda delivered an RBI single -- against a lefty, Mike Dunn -- that proved to be the game-winning hit.
Duda went 3-for-4, also including doubles in the fourth and sixth innings. He's now batting .395, tied for fifth in the National League -- but he was dishing out cold water after the game, too.
"I wouldn’t read too much into it -- it’s 10 games in," Duda said. "Still 152 to go. I’m gonna continue to work hard and keep my head down, and see how it goes."
Don't be mistaken, though -- this is a very confident team right now. There were many heroes Thursday night. Cuddyer went 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Campbell, Wright's fill-in at third base, had a single and the sac fly. Curtis Granderson was hitless but drew another walk, scored a run, and made a very nice catch at the wall in right field.
"Positive attitudes, resiliency, these guys don’t ever get down," said Gee. "I put us in a hole early on. [Marlins starter Jarred Cosart] was throwing the ball well at the time, but you could just sense that we thought we’d come back.
"Guys put amazing at-bats together. Flo with the clutch homer. Cuddyer, Duda, all those guys, Murphy moving guys over, it was just a great team win."
It was indeed. We're a long way from October 1, but Mets fans couldn't ask for more on April 16.