NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Marlon Byrd believes in the Mets.

And he doesn’t even play for them anymore.

The right fielder — who was excellent for the Amazin’s in 2013 before being traded to the Pirates — signed a two-year, $16 million contract with the Phillies in November.

The 36-year-old veteran remains close with several Mets players, and he worked out with Lucas Duda and Josh Satin in the offseason.

Byrd still has a tremendous amount of respect for the organization that took a flyer on him last year and paved the way for his lucrative deal with Philadelphia. And unlike many, he’s not at all surprised that the Mets are off to a hot start and winning games.

“The chemistry over in that clubhouse … there’s a reason that the team’s winning over there,” Byrd said, according to WFAN’s Ed Coleman.

Prior to the start of the season, it leaked that general manager Sandy Alderson challenged his players to win 90 games. He was criticized and mocked, and seemingly everybody predicted that the Mets would finish below .500 for the sixth year in a row.

Well, how about this? The April schedule is in the books, and the Mets are 15-11 and in second place in the National League East.

“There’s a reason they should believe they should win 90 games — or more,” Byrd said. “Then you bring in character guys like a Curtis Granderson, a Chris Young, Bartolo (Colon). And guys that can actually play. They’re good, and they help a team win. With the chemistry of the guys over there, it was all about getting better.”

The Mets beat the rival Phillies on Tuesday night in the first matchup of the season between the two teams. Mets pitching held Philly to one run, and that run came on a fourth-inning homer from Byrd.

The second game of the series, scheduled for Wednesday night, was postponed by rain. The Mets will return to action on Thursday when they take on the Rockies at Coors Field.

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