NEW YORK — The dream was always there for the New York Mets, maybe not as far back as when Matt Harvey was starting an All-Star Game in 2013, but at least as far back as when Harvey and Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz were pitching in a World Series in 2015.
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The Mets were plenty good then (although not enough to top the Kansas City Royals), but just wait. They still had Zack Wheeler coming back from Tommy John surgery then. They had a shot at a five-man rotation with five young aces, if they could only get them healthy at the same time.
The five aces are together, Harvey and deGrom and Syndergaard and Matz and Wheeler, all pitching in the same rotation for the first time ever. Sure enough, the Mets are 12-2, with the best record in the National League.
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And yet, the truth is the hot start hasn’t been built on the starting pitching, and the Five Aces rotation likely won’t last as a group once Jason Vargas is ready to come off the disabled list. The starters have been good enough to keep the Mets in games and give them a chance to win, but they’ve hardly been dominant. Even Sunday, when Syndergaard struck out eight straight Brewers, he was out of the game in the sixth inning, and it took the bullpen and a Wilmer Flores walk-off home run to get the Mets another win.
So the Mets can still dream.
They can dream that this fast start is just a start, that they can build on it because these guys can still be dominant. As well as the Mets have done so far, imagine what they’ll do when these guys pitch the way they can.
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“Barely scratching the surface,” Syndergaard said, referring to himself and to the rotation as a whole.
The Mets are good now. The Mets can be even better. Imagine it.