The New York Mets rallied on Tuesday night to defeat the Miami Marlins 8-6, continuing what is now the best start in the history of the team.

New York Mets start
The New York Mets are off to a 9-1 start this season, and wrapped up a sweep over division rivals the Washington Nationals Sunday night. (Image: AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The Mets are now 9-1, and have won seven straight games. That’s the best record through the first 10 games of the season in franchise history, and it’s exactly the kind of start the team was looking for after a 2017 campaign plagued with injuries.

Cespedes Double Extends Winning Streak

On Tuesday, it was outfielder Yoenis Cespedes who played the hero. Tied at six in the ninth inning, Cespedes snapped out of a 1-for-21 slump by hitting a double down the left field line to plate two runs. New Mets manager Mickey Callaway praised his slugger for playing through a bad cold and coming through in the clutch.

“He has been feeling terrible and still playing,” Callaway told reporters. “He didn’t want [a day off]. He won us the game today. For him to battle through what he’s going through is pretty good.”

Closer Jeurys Familia pitched a perfect bottom of the ninth to record his sixth save of the season. Switch-hitting infielder Asdrubal Cabrera also pitched in with two solo homers, one from each side of the plate.

Heading into the season, New York’s hopes of remaining competitive appeared to lie on the shoulders of their star players, including Cespedes and starting pitchers like Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard. But the team has been getting contributions from just about everyone on the roster in the early going, including a bullpen that has been nearly untouchable in the early going.

Mets Playing with Confidence

The Mets have also developed a habit of quickly coming from behind when other teams have grabbed leads against them. Opponents have scored in 23 different innings so far this year, and the Mets have scored in their very next time up to bat 12 of those times.

According to Callaway, these are signs of a team that has the right mental attitude towards the game.

“It’s just a relaxed confidence,” Callaway said. “Guys aren’t pressing. And when you do that, you play at your best.”

The Mets now share the best record in the major leagues with the Boston Red Sox. And while a hot start doesn’t necessarily mean much over the course of a 162 game season, banking wins now will give the team some cushion going forward. New York already holds a 3.5 game lead in the NL East over the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals (both with 6-5 records).

The Nationals came into the season as the overwhelming favorites to win the division, and they’re still regarded as the team to beat. At William Hill, Washington is listed at 4/7, while the Mets are now a strong second choice at 2/1, well ahead of the Braves (12/1). The Mets are considered a dark horse World Series contender as well, and are posted at 25/1 odds to become MLB champions this season.