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Things That Look Good on the Mets

1. Five consecutive wins (after holding off the Nationals [1] in Washington)

2. Climbing almost out of last place (a half-game behind the Nats, one behind the Braves)

3. Having the best last place record in baseball (a dubious distinction, but ya gotta start somewhere after digging yourself a 5-13 hole)

4. Jason Bay batting fifth (that’s the Jason Bay from before 2010, apparently, my instinctive chant of “Hey, hey, Jason Bay, how many Mets did you strand today?” every time he shows his face notwithstanding)

5. Carlos Beltran relatively unencumbered in the field and on the basepaths (tripling and everything — life begins anew at 34)

6. Daniel Murphy in the two-hole (and at second base, even allowing for the likelihood of sudden Bonehead Murphy reappearances)

7. Josh Thole with his confidence and his stroke (I’ve taken to calling him Jock Thole, because he so looks like the earnest kid on the high school baseball team who wouldn’t join in the picking on of the schlubby kid in gym class)

8. Jason Pridie getting comfortable (his walkup music in my mind is “Funky Céilí” by Black 47 [2], specifically the moment at the beginning when lead singer Larry Kirwan is calling out achingly for “BRIDIE!” which is close enough to “PRIDIE!” for my purposes)

9. Chris Young handling a bat (maybe he’s not back up to speed on the mound, but what a gorgeous safety squeeze from our recent 1.000 hitter)

10. Ike Davis with a glove (averting looming disaster on the final play Tuesday night when he stepped off the bag to corral David Wright’s nearly errant throw and applied a tag on the last National baserunner of the night)

11. Heretofore unsung relief pitchers (Ryota Igarashi flummoxed Jayson Werth, Taylor Buchholz plugged two solid innings…it’s like having an entire bullpen!)

12. The continued presence of Dillon Gee on the 25-man roster (because he earned it, and because demoting the thus far ineffective D.J. Carrasco imbues the old saw about “no scholarships” with real fiber — my goodness, I love the informed impatience [3] of the new regime)

13. Not hearing Terry Collins mention how close we were to winning (because we won — teams that win don’t much mention how they nearly lost)

14. Human-scale camera angles at Nationals Park (no more D.C. vertigo on SNY — who’d we pay off?)

15. Black jerseys (four straight in those tiresomely derided ebony tops, five straight with some shade of the vintage Mets In Black look…when the Mets win dressed something like Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones [4], then baby, black is beautiful)

16. Brad Emaus’s listing among Mets you can punch out on your just-released All-Star ballot [5] (which is actually pretty dim of MLB to have authorized considering Brad Emaus is a fading Met memory who is currently adding “organizational depth [6]” to the Rockies at Colorado Springs, but when you win five in a row, stuff that normally bothers you strikes you as mostly amusing)