By Alex Susskind @ASusskind on June 3, 2014
When the New York Mets went into Citizens Bank Park to battle the Philadelphia Phillies in a five-game series, it was believed that it would be the biggest test of the first half for the Mets. The boys from Queens passed with flying colors. Here are the top five reasons why:
A strong bullpen is necessary to survive a long series -- especially in which three-straight games go into extra-innings. The Mets' bullpen allowed only three earned runs in 21 innings pitched. (A 1.29 ERA for the series.)
In addition to a strong bullpen, starting pitchers needs to keep their team in the game and try not to overtax the bullpen. With the exception of the first-game defeat, the Mets got a quality outing (six or more innings giving up three runs or less) out of each starting pitcher in the series.
No matter how good the pitching is, the offense needs to put runs on the board. In this series, the Mets' offense put up an impressive four runs or more in all five games.
It's one thing to go into hostile territory and win four-straight against a team. But the Mets fan group The 7 Line Army invaded Citizens Bank Park and at times took over the crowd with deafening chants in favor of the Mets.
The Mets are now only 1.5 games back in the National League Wild Card race and 3.5 games back in the National League East Division race as they start a series against the worst team in the majors -- the Chicago Cubs.
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