It is nearing the end of September 2008, and the Mets have returned home to finish up there season against the Florida Marlins.
Less than 100 miles south the Philles have returned home to close their season against the Washington Nationals.
As the final season closes at Shea Stadium the Mets need to take 2-3 to control their own future and clinch the division title. Anything less than that would give the Phillies a shot of stealing another one.
Jerry Manuel has set his pitching roster to his liking and is ready to take the division.
Game 1, is pitched by the back end of the rotation as Mike Pelfrey gets into trouble early but is then bailed out by some clutch 2 out base hits. One comes off of Carlos Delgado's bat.
With the division on the line in Game 2, it seemed only right for Mets fans to see Johan Santana, the prized off season pickup, gracing the mound.
Santana, finally delivers a contract worthy performance. He pitches 8.0 innings, and gives up just 1 ER. Jose Reyes and David Wright provide timely hits and the Mets win the game, and become the 2008 NL East Champs.
Of course for them to get to this point a lot of changes have taken place since game 1 of the season. Jerry Manuel replaced Willie Randolph just before the all star break.
Jerry shook things up with his team, moving the hot hitting Ryan Church into the #2 spot in the order, sending Castillo all the way down to 7th.
The pitching staff looked excellent down the stretch as John Maine finally began to work more innings, and throw less pitches. Johan and Pedro both settled down, and of course, the back end of the rotation has just been stellar.
The bullpen did what it has always done for the Mets, gotten better in the second half. Aaron Heilman continued his June era of 0.64, and continued to get batters out in the middle innings. Sanchez was able to shut the door almost every night in the 8th and Wagner, well he was just Wagner (in a good way).
As the Mets enter the playoffs they will have a long road ahead of them, but to think about where they were at the All Star break, this has been a second half of the season to remember.