One of the most common criticisms of interleague play is that it is “unfair,” that it gives certain teams advantages over others because of imbalances involving scheduling. It is incredibly charming that people still get worked up over whether matters are “fair” in our multi-billion-dollar sports industry. It really is. Anyway, the Mets won again last night — despite an off-night for Johan Santana — and they’re now only a half-game out of first place. (!!!!) And so much of that is due to interleague play.
The Mets are 6–1 in interleague (2–1 against the Yankees, 3–0 against the Orioles, and last night’s win over Cleveland), and they still get to play the Indians twice more. That’s the best record in baseball, and it’s certainly worth mentioning that no one else in the division is even over .500 against the Junior Circuit. There are nine more interleague games after this Cleveland series, and none are easy: Three more against the Yankees, three against Detroit, three against Minnesota. But feeding on your lessers is the first step toward winning your division, and the Mets are certainly taking care of that right now.
The Mets are also eight games over .500, which is already better than they were at any time last year. (Their high-water mark was seven games over.) It’s also the best record, 36–28, the Mets have had on June 16 since that 2006 season. But here’s the stat we prefer: The Mets are 10–2 since sending down Oliver Perez. We knew it was his fault!