Inside Pitch: A complete reversal

The Mets opened Willie Randolph's first season as manager last year by losing their first five games and never really recovered.

The first week of this season saw them winning four of five in series against division rivals Washington and Florida for their best start since 1998.

"It's a complete reversal," left-hander Tom Glavine said. "It's certainly something we want to continue to do, but we have had some problems last year winning on the road, and that's something we have to do something about."

The Mets were 35-46 last season on the road, but 7-3 at Washington. They have not had a winning season on the road since 1999, when they were 48-34. They have only two winning seasons on the road since 1988.

NOTES, QUOTES

  • RHP Brian Bannister picked up his first major league victory on Tuesday at Washington, carrying a shutout into the seventh inning.

    Bannister, a 25-year-old right-hander who made the team after a strong spring, allowed three hits and did not walk a batter, helping lead the Mets to a 7-1 victory over the Nationals.

    "This kid has great poise," catcher Paul Lo Duca said. "Nothing really rattles him. I think he's going to be good for a long time in this game."

  • 3B David Wright on the M-V-P chants at Shea Stadium: "I think we have some legitimate MVP candidates on this team, me not being one of them."

    Wright is the first player in club history to drive in a run in each of the team's first six games.

    The Mets have scored 29 runs in their last four games.

  • 2B Kaz Matsui played as the DH in an extended spring training game in Port St. Lucie, Fla., going 2-for-4 with two stolen bases batting left-handed.

  • The Mets and Nationals were warned by Major League Baseball to lighten up as the teams begin a three-game series Tuesday at Washington. The teams played a three-game series last week at Shea Stadium in which seven batters were hit, six of them Nationals, including OF Jose Guillen twice by RHP Pedro Martinez.

    BY THE NUMBERS: 3 -- Double-digit hit games by the Mets in their first four games.

    QUOTE TO NOTE: "That's their decision -- they went that way. I can't do anything about it. I only play first base. I don't want to be a GM. I don't want to be an owner or make their decisions. Turn the page." -- Mets 1B Carlos Delgado, reflecting on his departure from the Florida Marlins.

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