What a game last night. What a weekend. What a rollercoaster for the New York Mets over the last 10 days or so. Two weeks ago John Mayberry Jr. was batting cleanup, and there were 4 guys in the daily lineup batting well under .200. Now you have managers struggling to decide who to pitch to, who they fear least. Wednesday night Wilmer Flores was crying on the field, embodying the Mets as the laughingstock of baseball. Friday night he hit a walk-off home run against the divisional rivals. We have gone from comparing the Mets offense to the 1962 Mets, when they lost 120 games, to being in a virtual tie for first place on August 3rd. That’s the life of a Mets fan though. One day everything is great, the next day they break your heart and crush your dreams. But there’s a different attitude in Queens right now. There’s an unexplainable swagger in the clubhouse right now. Everyone is all aboard for the final 9 weeks and the race for the post-season. Even management seems to be all in.
A week ago, I was drafting a blog about how the Mets are like the people who come to the games, pay for the cheap seats and try to sneak into the lower sections only to get denied. They were the people to bring in a bottle of water so they wouldn’t have to buy a drink at stadium pricing. They would share snacks and have a shitty view of the game. They probably wore New Balance sneakers that were rotting away, and they were the loser fans who start the wave at the games. They were the people who tried to save money but still expect to have the same experience as the other fans. The other fans, being the other teams (Yankees, Dodgers, and even the Blue Jays now). They pay top dollar for the full experience. They spare no expense and are all in on their ballpark experience. It seemed like nobody other than the fans cared that the formula was not working. But here we are coming off a sweep of the Nationals, tied for first place, and the lineup today versus last week is night and day.
Last night’s game was probably the best Mets game I’ve ever attended. The stadium was packed to the brim, louder than ever. This team is going to be competitive for years to come, and last night they proved that they are legitimate TODAY. The young pitching has been stellar, Duda goes yard every game, the supporting cast is coming through with timely hitting, and things are looking up. They’ll probably choke it away come September, but this feeling today is foreign to many of us Mets fans. Barring a major collapse in the coming weeks, there will be meaningful games in September, and that’s an enormous improvement considering how poor this team has performed over the past 6+ years.
Every game is important from now until October 4th. The last series is home against Washington by the way. Can you imagine fighting for the division title on the final weekend? It’s an exciting time to be a fan of the good guys. Get to the stadium, wear orange and blue, be loud, get behind this ball club because there was a legitimate playoff atmosphere at Citi Field last night. Buckle up, Mets fans.
UPDATE: The Mets just scored a thousand runs and the Nationals continue to poop their pants. Mets are in sole possession of first place, and I don’t know what to do.