NEW YORK- It has certainly been a dark period for a Mets team that has been unable to capitalize on a 9-14 stretch by the Atlanta Braves, who they currently trail by 5.5 games in the NL East with just 12 left to play.
Of course, following a seven-game winning streak, which got them back above .500, the season-long woes of the Mets' offense have been on full display, resulting in a 5-11 record ever since.
Even with a rare feel-good win over the Phillies on Sunday night to avoid back-to-back sweeps and snap their five-game losing streak, the Mets have still fallen out of contention, while allowing their NL East rivals to give themselves a realistic shot at qualifying for the postseason.
But if there is one player, who has been pulling his own weight recently, it's left-handed starter Rich Hill, who delivered another solid performance against the Phillies last night.
Hill went 4.2 innings, allowing two-runs on six hits while striking out seven batters. But Luis Rojas pulled him after just 86-pitches with two-outs in the fifth, opting to go with Jeurys Familia, who struck out J.T. Realmuto to strand a runner on third.
"Felt great, ball came out the way I wanted it to," said Hill of his outing. "[Catcher] Tomas [Nido] did a pretty good job behind the dish tonight, so we kept a good pace. That's a tough team and it was a big win."
When evaluating Hill's outings since coming over to the Mets from the Tampa Bay Rays in a July 23 trade, he quietly does some pretty impressive stuff when you take a closer look.
Not only has Hill defied all odds by pitching at an effective level at 41-years-old, but he also puts on quite a show at times.
From channeling his inner-Michael Jordan by striking out Jean Segura with his eyes closed in the first inning, to dropping a dime of a 71-mph curveball to freeze NL MVP candidate Bryce Harper in the top of the third, Hill's style on the mound and ability to change speeds is almost poetic in a way.
With an electric batting song: Even Flow by Pearl Jam, a classic tune that most individuals of a younger generation are probably familiar with from the popular video game, Guitar Hero, Hill recorded his first hit as a Met in the bottom of third, which he lined off of the body of opposing pitcher Kyle Gibson. Alas, the Mets left him stranded on base, which has been the story of the season.
"It's good getting the opportunity to hit and actually contributing," said Hill. "Creating some sort of momentum at the plate, just to be able to get on-base and try to get something going."
Although he wound up receiving a no-decision in this contest, his contributions on the bump helped the Mets pull out a much-needed victory.
He has also been one of the few bright spots in an otherwise abysmal span for New York. In the month of September alone, Hill has allowed a .247 opposing batting average, while posting a 2.49 ERA across four starts.
This has lowered his ERA on the season from 4.11 to 3.87. And while Hill does not have a win since joining the Mets, he has been solid with a 3.88 ERA in 10 starts (11 appearances).
Despite not giving the Mets much length, getting through six innings only twice in these 10 starts, Hill has been consistent as the No. 5 starter in the rotation since coming to the team in late-July. And he has also been pretty fun to watch in an otherwise unwatchable final two months of the season for the Mets.