In case you missed it, the Mets are playing well these days under new skipper Jerry Manuel. Manuel has been at the helm for the last 26 games and the Mets have gone 17-9 in those games.

Whatever it is that’s going on with the Mets it didn’t start in June. In the 13 games that Manuel managed the Mets in June they went 6-7. Compared to their averages for the season, they scored fewer runs per game and allowed more.

And then came July and the Mets couldn’t lose. 11-2. In 13 games in July the Mets have scored more runs (81) than any other team in either league and allowed fewer runs (35) than any other team in either league.

Here’s the runs the Mets have scored and allowed in the games that Manuel has managed in 2008 (and the runs scored and allowed per game):




June 13 48 (3.69) 64 (4.92)
July 13 81 (6.23) 35 (2.69)
Total 26 129 (4.96) 99 (3.81)

And here’s what they did in the 69 games that Manuel did not manage:



69 331 (4.80) 322 (4.67)

Despite the unremarkable June, thanks to an unbelievable July the Mets are overall scoring more runs and allowing fewer per game under Manuel than they were before him.

Overall, the difference between the Manuel and non-Manuel pitching numbers is far more dramatic than the difference between the Manuel and non-Manuel hitting numbers. The Mets are scoring about 4.96 runs per game since he took over compared to about 4.80 per game before he took over, but the difference between the pitching numbers is much larger. After allowing about 4.67 runs per game before Manuel took over, the Mets have allowed about 3.81 runs per game since.

That, because of the weak offensive output in the games Manuel managed in June, hides a little that the Mets are crushing the ball in July. As mentioned above, no team in either league has scored more runs. That means they should have some hitters that are seeing the ball well and they do: Tatis, Delgado, Reyes and Wright have all posted an OPS of at least .940 during July.

But they’ve also allowed just 35 runs in 13 games. That means that there’s a big group of players pitching well also. Here’s what the guys that have gotten the 13 starts for the Mets in July have done:





Pelfrey 3 22.0 1 0.41
Martinez 3 14.1 7 4.40
Santana 2 13 2 1.38
Perez 2 13 1 0.69
Maine 2 10.1 6 5.23
Armas 1 8.1 7 7.56
TOTAL 13 81 24 2.67

If Johan Santana is going to be the third-best starter in the Mets’ rotation the Phillies are going to lose. Sorry. In seven July starts, Pelfrey, Perez and Santana have combined to throw 48 innings and allow four earned runs. That’s an 0.75 ERA and there’s nobody on the planet you can trade Lou Marson for that makes you better than the Mets if they keep pitching like that.

The good news is that no matter what kind of mad genius Dan Warthen is, they’re 100% guaranteed to get worse.

Finally, it would be great news for Phillies’ fans if it proved to be the case that part of the Mets’ success under Manuel is because he’s blowing out the bullpen. But he’s not. Mets’ starters are throwing about 5.88 innings per game under Manuel compared to about 5.82 innings per game before he arrived. The Mets remain in the middle of the pack (8th in the NL) in terms of innings pitched by relievers. That said, the bullpen has also been fantastic for New York in July. In 38 1/3 innings they’ve allowed 10 earned runs (2.35 ERA).

The AL beat the NL in the All-Star game last night, winning 4-3 in 15 innings. Utley was 1-for-3 with a single and a strikeout. Lidge started the bottom of the 15th with the score tied at 3-3. He allowed two singles and a walk before Michael Young hit a fly ball to right that scored Justin Morneau to give the AL the win. Lidge got two outs and threw 19 pitches.