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Cleveland Indians: Previewing the series against the Mets

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 18: Oscar Mercado #35 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates his eighth inning two run home run against the New York Yankees with teammate Mike Freeman #6 at Yankee Stadium on August 18, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 18: Oscar Mercado #35 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates his eighth inning two run home run against the New York Yankees with teammate Mike Freeman #6 at Yankee Stadium on August 18, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Indians
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – AUGUST 11: Carlos Santana #41 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates a grand slam with third base coach Mike Sarbaugh #16 as he rounds the bases against the Minnesota Twins during the tenth inning of the game on August 11, 2019 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Indians defeated the Twins 7-3 in ten innings. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Indians will take on the New York Mets in an interleague series between two teams once thought dead in the water. Oh, how times have changed.

You know what I say? Good for the Mets. I don’t necessarily want to give their upper-level management the benefit of the doubt by insinuating they did this on purpose–but the players and the coaches in that clubhouse who’ve done the actual legwork getting this team back into contention? Good for them.

The Mets were 10 games under .500 at the All-Star break. They were three games under .500 at the trade deadline, when they bucked tradition and traded for a quality starting pitcher as opposed to shipping one out. They spent most of the first half of the season being laughed at and listening to speculation on when–not if, but when–manager Mickey Callaway was going to be fired.

And look at them now, just adding to the chaos that is the seven-team NL wild card race behind a core of talented young players and a starting rotation nobody would be excited to see in October.

As far as the Cleveland Indians are concerned, this fairy tale summer in the Big Apple can take a long, blindfolded walk off a short pier starting on Tuesday night. The Indians are in the midst of their own magical turnaround, and they’re not here to lend a helping hand in anyone else’s.

Many moons ago, I wrote about the role the NL East stood to play in the AL Central playoff race this season. My premonition is turning out to be truer than I hoped.

Two months ago, this series in Queens looked like the Indians would be visiting a three-ring circus in late August. Instead, they’re facing a solid baseball team with a newfound confidence and just the right amount of magic surrounding it. Let’s take a look at New York’s “other” team.

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