Losers of seven straight at one point in April, the Mets now look to extend a winning streak to seven games and sweep Washington when Chris Capuano take the mound in the series finale against Livan Hernandez.
R.A. Dickey, asked after Wednesday's game if his commentary after his previous start about everyone being accountable for improving his own performance was taken to heart, said: “I think guys are doing what they do best. You can see that manifested on the field in the way they’re playing. When I spoke about that, I was speaking from my point of view, which is to try to take ownership of what I can bring -- to try not to walk many guys and keep us in ballgames late and things like that. I feel like I’ve been able to step it up too. Yeah, I don’t know if anybody read into it. But I do feel like it might be a little more than coincidence that everybody in here kind of kicked it up a notch.”
Thursday's news reports:
• Newsday's David Lennon explores the Mets acting swiftly to remove underperforming players, from releasing Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo during spring training, to dropping Blaine Boyer and Brad Emaus early, to Sunday's optioning of D.J. Carrasco to Triple-A Buffalo. Carrasco is in the first season of a two-year, $2.4 million deal. "We brought in 12 new people over the winter -- all of whom had some real upside but no real certainty about it," Sandy Alderson tells Lennon. "Even in that situation, you give people a chance to do what they can do, but you can't wait forever." As for whether Dillon Gee really might have stayed in the rotation, Terry Collins said the goal is not to have players looking over their shoulder, but: "Everybody was pitching for their job."
• Collins believes the Mets showed two years' worth of pent-up frustration in twice rallying in the final innings to beat the Nationals, 6-3, on Wednesday. "I know there's fight in this team," Collins said. "We talked all spring training long, you can't keep getting kicked around for two years and not have some anger. Hopefully games like tonight bring that out and show we're not going to give up."
As for Jose Reyes' spunk, Collins said: “This may come back to bite us, but his passion to play, his energy, I think it’s contagious. He’s an excitable guy, and I think that’s why fans love him. He plays the game with fun but with great passion, and I think the rest of the guys bought into it tonight.”
• Daniel Murphy has lofty goals for the Mets. “We’re trying to get to a hundred," Murphy said after Wednesday's win. "We’re a step closer.” David Waldstein of the Times notes 100 wins requires the Mets going 89-49 the rest of the way.
• Daily News columnist Filip Bondy said Braves pitching coach and ex-Met Roger McDowell went too far in his alleged non-PG-rated interaction with fans in San Francisco. Writes Bondy:
The fans get to say things, ask for things, even heckle reasonably. The players get to ignore them. But then pitching coach Roger McDowell comes along Saturday at AT&T Park and apparently breaks through that wall with the worst sort of behavior imaginable -- even for McDowell.
BIRTHDAY: Gee turns 25. He was born in the midst of the Mets' 11-game winning streak during the 1986 season, although April 28 was an off-day that year after the Mets completed a four-game sweep in St. Louis. -Mark Simon