NEW YORK — The New York Mets last played a home game on April 4 when the actual human beings in the announced crowd of 21,328 filed out happy after a victory over the Philadelphia Phillies but almost certainly unaware they were watching the beginning of the fastest start in team history.
A far larger crowd will likely show up — and display a far greater awareness of what’s going on — Friday night when the red-hot Mets return home to host the Milwaukee Brewers in the opener of a three-game series at Citi Field.
Both teams were off Thursday after wins on Wednesday. The visiting Mets took over sole possession of baseball’s best record after eight straight win, a come-from-behind 4-1 victory over the Miami Marlins. The host Brewers took the rubber game of a three-game series by edging the St. Louis Cardinals 3-2.
At 10-1, the Mets are enjoying the best 11-game start in baseball since 2013, when the Atlanta Braves also opened 10-1. They are the 24th team since 1900 to go 10-1 or better in its first 11 games.
Rookie manager Mickey Callaway is in even more select company. Only Joe Morgan, who directed the Boston Red Sox to wins in his first 12 games at the helm upon being named manager at the All-Star Break in 1988, has opened his career in faster fashion than Callaway, who deflected credit Wednesday night when asked about the early-season surge.
“The players — I don’t even know what to say,” Callaway said. “They’re just playing ball. It’s great.”
The Mets’ streak has included five come-from-behind victories. On Wednesday, New York was no-hit through six innings by Miami left-hander Jarlin Garcia and blanked until the eighth, when it scored all four runs.
“I think that what we’re going to see throughout the season is when we’re down, we know how to get the job done,” Callaway said. “We’re never going to give up.”
The resiliency of the Brewers (7-6) has been tested as well throughout the season’s first two weeks. Milwaukee relievers have blown three saves in the six games since hard-throwing closer Corey Knebel suffered a hamstring injury that will keep him out until at least late May.
Josh Hader and Matt Albers nearly combined for a fourth blown save Wednesday, when Hader was pulled after giving up a run in the ninth and Albers allowed two hits before posting his first save.
In addition, the Brewers have a winning record despite a minus-15 run differential that is the third-worst in the National League.
“We’re not clicking on all cylinders by any means,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell told reporters after Wednesday’s game. “But I think a lot of times, the sign of a team that can keep managing wins during those times bodes well for us.”
Mets left-hander Steven Matz (0-1, 3.00 ERA) is scheduled to oppose Brewers right-hander Zach Davies (0-1, 5.40 ERA) in a battle of hurlers coming off strong efforts in a no-decision last Saturday.
Matz allowed an unearned run in five innings in the Mets’ 3-2 win over the Washington Nationals. Davies gave up one run in six innings in the Brewers’ 5-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs.
Matz is 1-1 with a 4.15 ERA in two career starts against the Brewers. Davies is 2-0 with a 4.22 ERA in four career starts against the Mets.