On the eve of interleague play, the Mets stand at .500 after defeating the Florida Marlins yesterday 5-2 (box score). The game ended a 12-game, 13 day period where the Mets played the NL East leading Marlins and the 2nd place Phillies. While a team obviously wants to do better than .500 against their rivals, for Mets Manager Art Howe, he was happy to go .500, "We wanted to finish at least 6-6 in these 12 games, and we did that." At least someone in this town is happy going .500. But seriously, the games the Mets played were a test for a team with many questionmarks. While a two week stretch hardly makes a season, the Mets certainly have something to build on.
Al Leiter pitched 5 2/3 shutout innings in yesterday's game to improve to 2-2. Despite his record, Leiter has been pitching exceptionally well. In nine starts, his ERA is a miniscule 1.98, but with little run support, his record does not reflect his pitching. Lucky for Leiter, the Mets' bats came thorough yesterday. Mike Piazza's two-run double and and Karim Garcia's RBI single in the first inning gave the Mets all the runs they would need. Piazza also hit his third home run in two days in the fifth inning to add to the run tally.
The Mets head to Minnesota to face the Twins followed by a trip to Kansas City to play the Royals as interleague play begins tomorrow.