CLEVELAND: The Mets are doing a lot of things right right now. They are obviously winning a bunch of ball games, and that's taking them farther away from the .500 mark, as they are now nine over.
They are winning virtually every night that the Phillies and Braves lose, and when those two teams win, like last night, they make sure they keep pace. It's all a sign of a very good team that seems to only be getting better, and that's a pretty scary thought.
Consider that during the Mets winning streak, Angel Pagan is hitting .200. Jason Bay is hitting .250. Rod Barajas is only hitting .214. The Mets aren't getting contributions from everyone, and they are scorching hot.
They'll be going for their seventh straight win tonight, and they'll have a hot pitcher on the mound, R.A. Dickey. So far in his five starts with the Mets, Dickey has been beyond spectacular for what the Mets could've hoped. Now the Mets only hope that he continues his magic throughout the summer.
Dickey has pitched six or more innings in each start, not allowing more than four runs in any of them. In his last start in Baltimore, his knuckleball was so nasty, with so much movement, that even his own catcher couldn't catch it cleanly.
But that's what you'd like to see out of Dickey, because when his knuckler is floating the way it was that night, he's unhittable.
He'll be facing a Cleveland Indians lineup that for the most part is inexperienced. If his knuckler is really working tonight, look for a lot of silly, confusing swings from Indians hitters.
At the same time, if there's a game in which it's not working for him, he could be in for a long night, but he is the right guy to pitch against Cleveland.
On the mound for the Indians will be former Yankees starter Jake Westbrook. Westbrook made his debut for the Yankees in 2000, and after not performing well, got dealt to the Indians, where he has been since 2001.
Westbrook is a career .500 pitcher at 67-67, and it's been the same this season for him. Coming off a 2009 season in which he didn't throw a pitch due to Tommy John surgery, Westbrook has had an up-and-down campaign.
He has had quality starts, and not-so-good ones. His last one came on Friday against the Nationals, where he threw a great game. He went 7.1 innings, allowing two runs on seven hits, he walked two and struck out five.
The Mets' offense, though, has been red-hot, and they never seem to let down. After Jon Niese allowed the Indians to creep back into last night's ballgame, the Mets responded with a three-run inning, putting the kibosh on the Indians' comeback hopes.
Along with never letting down, the Mets also hustle. This time, maybe their hustling got a little carried away, as the leader in that department, Jason Bay, got banged up by taking a tumble at first base, and he will be a game-time decision tonight.
The Mets theme this season has been, "If we don't outscore you, we'll out-hustle you." That's why the Mets are in a position to go on a major tear into the month of July, as long as they hold up this kind of play for another two weeks.
So, R.A. Dickey will take to the mound, hoping to extend the Mets' winning streak to seven games, and improve the team to 10 games over .500.
There are many reasons to think he can, as Mets starters are 16-3 since May 17. The Mets also hope with a little help from the Rays, that they can be in first place heading to Yankee Stadium.
R.A. Dickey vs. Cleveland (career)
1-0, 3.70 ERA, 24.1 IP, 24 hits, 10 BB, 21 SO
Jake Westbrook this season (13 starts)
4-3, 4.62 ERA, 78 IP, 82 hits, 29 BB, 43 SO
2010 season series (New York vs. Cleveland)
June 15: New York 7, Cleveland 6
June 16: New York 8, Cleveland 4
Mets lead series 2-0