Mets 85-52 after 137 played

The middle of the lineup for the mid-’90s Blue Jays took care of business for the mid-’00s Mets, as Carlos Delgado hit the key homer and Shawn Green added insurance to back another good outing from Dave Williams in the Mets’ zippy 4-1 win over the hated Braves in the opener of Wednesday’s doubleheader at Shea.

Hopefully we’ll update again later tonight, but as of Wednesday afternoon, the Mets’ magic number stands at only …


The win officially eliminated the Washington Nationals from the NL East race.

Mets 84-52 after 136 played

Just a late update. The Mets have dropped a pair — it’s always especially painful to come up short against the Braves — but their magic number was shaved by one thanks to a Phillies loss. Meanwhile, the Fish have come on strong, pulling into a tie with Philly. And with 26 games to go, the Mets’ magic number goes to …


And I’m set to do the Teufel Shuffle.

Update (Tuesday night): Rain washed away Astros-Phillies and Braves-Mets, so the magic number for the Mets to clinch the NL East remained stuck at 11.  But the Marlins lost, setting their tragic number back to 10.

Mets 84-50 after 134 played

BelThose who question whether Carlos Beltran should be MVP over Albert Pujols or Ryan Howard ought to watch his game-saving catch last night — just adds another element to his game others don’t have. It was Carlos’ glove and bat (1-for-4, two runs scored), along with a great return from Cliff Floyd (1-for-3, two RBIs) and yet another solid outing from John Maine that lifted the Mets to their second in Houston, a satisfying 4-2 win on Saturday.

The win, combined with the Phillies’ loss in the opener of a double header with the Braves, dipped the Mets magic number to a teeny …


That’s over the Phils, with the Braves at 13.  The Nationals can be
eliminated as soon as Sunday, with their tragic number at 2.

While other Mets favorites donned No. 12 in their Mets careers — Ron Darling and John Stearns among them — today we’ll recognize one of the men of the hour: Willie Randolph, who wore No. 12 during his lone year with the Mets, in 1992.

And on that catch by Beltran, by the way — Say what you will about New Yorkers those of you in Houston, at least we have class.

Mets 83-50 after 133 played

PointYes, ladies, you have it correct, David Wright’s all that and a bag of chips. He’s back to being a key bat in a game every night again, going 2-for-3 Driday with the go-ahead hit as part of a three-RBI night. Tom Glavine, while imperfect, was back on the hill and it’s a good sight to see. As was the 8-7 comeback final posted in Houston that sank the Mets magic number to …


That’s for the late, great Gil Hodges, who’ll one day get his rightful spot in the Hall of Fame.

The Phillies were idle, with Ernesto’s remains blasting across the East Coast. They’re supposed to play two on Saturday, but who knows if they’ll get one in.  The Nats’ tragic number is down to three, so the Mets can in fact eliminate D.C. on Saturday.

The lead over the Phillies is now at 16 games in the division.

Mets 82-50 after 132 played

A sweep sure would have been satisfying, but the job — as far as getting closer to the playoffs — got done regardless on Thursday night, when the Mets fell in the Rockies finale, 8-4, in a game that formally may have marked the end of David Wright’s second-half slump. And we have the Nats pulling one out late over Philly to thank for it, thus edging the Mets’ magic number ever so downward to …


It’s a very magical number in Mets lore — not only did Ron Darling made it look wonderful on his back, but Carlos Beltran is in the process of making it a historic one for the Mets.

As the Mets enter September, they have 32 games remaining. An 18-14 month would seal 100 wins.

Mets 82-49 after 131 played

MoustacheWhie Kaz Matsui watched the balls said over his head, Jose Valentin’s "Wild Mustache Ride (R)" resumed as Jose Valentin blasted a pair of long balls. That power show, plus David Wright’s slump-busting (hopefully) grand slam and another (!?) great night by Dave Williams helped this one go to 11 after the previous night’s 10-run affair.   And with the 11-3 victory in Denver, the Mets’ magic number further shrinked on Wednesday night to just …


And that’s over the Phliadelphia something or others, it’s hard to read the names from this far ahead.

No. 16 could have been the most magic of all, but history will show it was a shooting star. We’re talking Dwight Gooden, Dr. K. It’s after him this blog is named after, of course.

The Mets’ 82 wins after 131 played put them on a pace for 101.4 wins. While they have one fewer win than the TIgers, thee Mets’ .626 winning percentage is the best in the game

Mets 81-49 after 130 played

Belt_3It could very well have gotten ugly early Tuesday night. But Steve Trachsel held strong, winning his 14th, which amazingly is just one short of the NL lead, and the offense does what the offense does, teeing off on the Rockies’ staff to the tune of double-digit runs in a not-as-close-as-it-sounds 10-5 victory, one in which the whole offense was in tune. 

The win further lowered the Mets’ magic number to …


And you know what I mean, cuz the way it looks, is way beyond compare.  The number’s inherent magic goes well beyond the first track of the first Beatles album, of course. It was also Keith Hernandez‘s number, as well as David Cone‘s, who donned it in honor of Mex. And, of course, bronze-medal winner Dae Sung Koo.

The Mets lead remains 15 1/2 games over Philly, although the Marlins are coming on strong, with nine straight wins. The 81 wins ensures the Mets to not have a losing season, something that was inevitable, but it’s still nice to know it since we’ve had so **** many.

Mets 80-49 after 129 games

BaseYet again, the Mets take advantage of another club’s mistakes, with the wacky third inning of Monday’s  8-3 win a lovely example. Bunt hits when they weren’t meant to be, reversed calls that never seem to happen — and all capped with real, genuine base knocks.  And another great outing by John Maine — hey we have a keeper, don’t we? — ties it all up in a neat package.

With the victory, the Mets magic number continues its freefall, landing at …


ChaiStraw!  Good number.

The lead over the Phillies is now 15 1/2 games, 17 over the Marlins as of this writing.

Mets 79-49 after 128 played

GreenDeficits that once seemed insurmountable — yes, three-run deficits used to feel that way, you know — can now be smashed in an instant. The balanced Mets order is humming right now (how many times have I written that this season?), with Carlos Delgado back to his old self, Carlos Beltran remaining his recent self Shawn Green fitting right in. And don’t forget ENDY.

Saturday night, the hittinig overcame up-and-down pitching in an 11-5 victory over the Phillies. Impact: high. The magic number dipped to a precarious (for the opposition, of course)…


To this Mets fan, it’s one of the most magical numbers of all as Howard Johnson — the author’s favorite all-time Met, as well as dear old dad’s — sported it on his back for so many years.  Today, it’s on Green’s back, a worthy successor.

The 20 is, of course, over Philly, which dropped to 14 1/2 games out. The magic number over the Braves is 16, and then we can finally put that damned division winning streak to bed. 

With the 79 wins over 128 played, the Mets are on a pace to win 99.98 games, which we certainly won’t round down.

Mets 78-48 after 126 played

Delgado_2That loud thud you may have heard late Thursday was the St. Louis Cardinals. Carlos Delgado’s responsible for the other loud noise — that was his sixth homer in seven games, part of a nice little offensive showing put on by the Mets in their 6-2 sweep-completing win. Shawn Green added an RBI single in his Mets debut, a nice touch.

The win was the Mets’ 11th in a row at home, tying a club mark. It also was their first sweep of the Cardinals since 2000. Does it make up for Rick Aguilera’s inability to close out the Cards in October ’85? Not at all. My heart remains broken. But this sure feels nice.

The victory, combined with a Phillies implosion at Wrigley, lowers the Mets magic number to …


That’s over the same Phillies, who are next in the Mets’ crosshairs with their weekend visit to Shea. It’s also a very magic number in Mets lore, having been worn by ’86 World Series MVP Ray Knight. It was also donned by Donn Clendenon, who also won the World Series MVP — in 1969. Al Leiter also wore No. 22 to the postseason.

Oh, and as a postscript to a commenter from yesterday — I referred to the Cards’ "faux ace" in discussing Mark Mulder. I had absolutely forgotten that they had Chris Carpenter, that’s how little praise and press he receives (and undeservedly — he is indeed a bona fide ace). But I’ll stand by the fact that Mulder was brought in as a No. 1a, not as a No. 2, or the No. 5 he’s pitching like. And I’ll also stand by my thought as Beltran as the NL’s MVP. He probably will split the vote with Wright and Reyes, but that doesn’t mean he’s not the most deserving player in the league.