Everything about the Mets' game against the Washington Nationals felt like a loss last night. Mike Pelfrey was erratic as usual, even while somehow hanging on for eight strikeouts in five and two thirds innings. (He also gave up ten hits. Pelf.) The Nationals took an early lead behind Edwin Jackson, who for a good portion of the night looked like the Edwin Jackson everyone always thinks Edwin Jackson is going to turn into. It felt like an off-night for this goofy little Mets start to the season. And then it got really goofy.
The Mets ended up beating the Nationals 4–3 last night to go to 4-0 on the season, and the way they did it was as thrilling as it was comical. In the top of the ninth, Daniel Murphy, DEFENSIVE WIZARD, made a terrific diving play to end the frame (and we could watch the excitable Jon Rauch's reaction to the play all day), but the real craziness came in the bottom half.
Mike Baxter, a.k.a. the Baxter, led off the inning with a walk, and Ruben Tejada (who has instantly, if perhaps temporarily, provided the fan-favorite spark lost with Jose Reyes) dropped down a bunt. Nationals catcher Jesus Flores yelled "TWO!" for pitcher Henry Rodriguez to throw it to second. It wasn't a good call — Rodriguez would have had no chance to get Baxter — and it totally confused Rodriguez, who took a moment to compose himself before rushing a throw to first. It was offline, and all hell broke loose. Baxter flew into to third and — fitting the Baxter — ran straight through a stop sign to score. Fortunately, the Citi Field grass gods grabbed Baxter and dragged him rightfully to the ground, and the Mets had their second-and-third, no-out situation. It's tough not to score in that spot, and they did, on a friendly little single from Murphy, giving everybody a happy walkoff.
If you had any doubt, by the way, that the Citi Field crowd is already into these games, check out how the fans sounded on that Baxter play. That was appropriately wacky.
So, the Mets are now 4-0, one of four undefeated teams in the majors. (Tampa Bay, Detroit, and Arizona are the others.) Everyone's playing well but Ike Davis and Jason Bay; David Wright, in particular, looks double-plus-juvenated. Obviously, 4-0 isn't a big deal; it's the equivalent, roughly, of being 32-32 and winning four in a row. But 4-0 feels great. It feels like the Mets are perfect and unstoppable. It feels almost as good as 5-0. Hey, why not?