NEW YORK– For the first time since August 29-September 30, 2001, the Mets have put together a 24-game run of at least 19-5. No, it didn’t even happen in 2006, when the Mets ran through the National League. That just shows you how hard it is to pull off this kind of feat.

The Mets will try to improve to 20 out of 25 today.

Finally, the Mets can stop hearing about beating weak opponents and just being on a semi-hot streak. Although, there are some who insist that last night’s Mets win had to do with the Yankees’ cold bats, not the brilliant pitching out of Hisanori Takahashi.

If the Mets can’t get credit for shutting out the defending World Champions in their home ballpark, then what does this team have to do? Well, more winning and climbing up the standings would do the trick.

After winning last night, the Mets will hope for better luck today, facing a pitcher they beat last month, Phil Hughes.

What the Mets have been doing during this nearly month-long run is win in all ways possible. They either score a ton of runs or, like last night, get great starting pitching and just tack on runs late to extend leads.

Maybe last season, or even during the two years prior, the Mets would have not scored three late runs and they would have lost the game in the ninth instead. This time, although they did not tear apart the starter (Javier Vazquez), they beat up on the opposing bullpen and saved it at the end. The team this season has been built with fight and swagger.

Today, they will send Mike Pelfrey, who’s 9-1, to the mound, facing a team that has suddenly lost their offense over the last three games. At the the same time, Phil Hughes is 9-1, too, but he did lose to Pelfrey at Citi Field on May 22, when this Mets rise began.

The Mets were not supposed to win last night, as people were predicting a lopsided Yankees victory.

If Pelfrey can keep the Mets in the game, similar to what Takahashi did last night, then the Mets may have a shot against Hughes, who didn’t fare well in his last start against the lowly Houston Astros. Last Sunday, although the Yankees won the game, 9-5, Hughes was charged with all five earned runs. He threw 110 pitches in only 5 2/3 innings and allowed seven hits, one of which was a home run. He has given up four or more runs in three of his last six starts.

Pelfrey has had one stand-out bad start this season—a May 1 game against the Phillies, when he allowed six runs on eight hits in four innings. He hasn’t allowed more than four runs in any other start. In his last one, he gutted out the win by throwing a quality start against the Orioles.

Mets starting pitchers are 17-3 since May 17, and it seems like every start results in an outing of six innings pitched or more.

If they can split the final two games, they would complete an 8-1 road trip, similar to the 9-1 road trip they had in June 2006 that propelled them from that point forward.

For the Yankees, they will try and avoid losing their fourth straight game at home, a rarity, hoping the Mets can come up flat against their impressive young right-hander.

It’s getting fiery out in the Bronx, while the excitement for the Mets just keeps on burning.

Mike Pelfrey vs. New York Yankees (May 22)
Win, 6 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 5 SO

Phil Hughes vs. New York Mets (May 22)
Loss, 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 8 H, 3 BB, 7 SO

2010 season series (New York Mets vs. New York Yankees)

May 21: New York Yankees 2, New York Mets 1
May 22: New York Mets 5, New York Yankees 3
May 23: New York Mets 6, New York Yankees 4
June 18: New York Mets 4, New York Yankees 0
Mets lead series 3-1

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