- Faith and Fear in Flushing - http://www.faithandfearinflushing.com -

Lying Out There Like a Killer in the Sun

Bedrock baseball wisdom is that you don't look ahead. Not to the next series, not to the next game, not to the next inning, not even to the next batter. You keep the focus on this play, this pitch, and the good lord willing, things will work out. (Thanks, Crash.)
That said, have you seen our June schedule [1]?
3 against Arizona — A team on the rise with loads of young talent, and this is the softest part of the month.
3 against Philadelphia — Lousy start, but they've crawled almost back to .500 and are unlikely to go away.
3 at Detroit — Won 95 games and the wild card last year, reigning American League champs.
3 at Los Angeles — Our old friends from the '06 playoffs, now much improved. Best team in the NL that isn't us.
3 at New York — After a West Coast trip! Won the AL East last year. 97 wins tied us for the best record in baseball.
3 against Minnesota — 96 wins last year, won the AL Central.
3 against Oakland — 93 wins last year, won the AL West.
4 against St. Louis — Beat us in the NLCS. (I know, I know. I hadn't forgotten either.)
3 at Philadelphia — And the first two are a double-header!
Oh, and after that we're off to Colorado and Houston before the All-Star break. That's technically July, so we won't talk about it.
There's no need for poor-mouthing or woe-is-us — not one of those teams will be relaxing and licking its collective lips because the Mets (97 wins, won NL East, ungodly hitting) are on the schedule. But still — our June opponents were 121 games over .500 last year. We face six playoff teams in a row, including the entire postseason slate from the American League. (I'm sure baseball will rectify the Padres' absence by subbing them for the D-Backs.) There's a West Coast swing. And, at the end, a double-header following seven straight days of baseball.
I'm neither a math jock nor have access to an Elias supercomputer, but has any baseball team ever faced a month like that? If the Phillies edge us at the wire, will it come down to Jimmy Rollins & Co. drawing three against the Royals while we're playing the Tigers? When did “strength of schedule” become a baseball term?
A little birdie told me next year baseball will trade our three pesky June off-days for games against steroid-fed clones of the '27 Yankees, the Wehrmacht, and the Megabats [2]. So mark your calendars.