Oh the joys of September baseball. I have tried to write about this team’s run several times since the early August turnaround. Frankly, I still do not know what to make of them. I have deleted paragraphs moaning about how this team is a travesty. I have erased hundreds of excited words about this never say die team of rookies, no names and gamy veterans. Each game seems to swing me back and forth between despair and delight. Between this year and last year, I swear this team will kill me. I forgot how much I love September baseball.
I am on the record wishing the Mets just gave up and died in August. The injuries and setbacks were to much for a team to sustain a playoff run. I wrote out a list of players either down for the season or who missed significant playing time AND the list got longer! At that time both De Grom and Matz were on the field. Now they are done for the year. Jay Bruce has reminded met fans what usually happens when we go after a big name player. He is one more slow dribbler to first away from getting spit on in the Citi Field parking lot. If any one asks, I was out of town that day. And we aren’t even going to talk about Tebow. No. Stop asking.
So here we are. September twenty something (The weekend activities distracted me between writing and editing, give me a break) and the Mets are jammed in a three way race between two the most successful NL teams of the last decade. The class of the NL vs a team made up of 75%(give or take 30%) minor league call ups, a Norse god, a 45 yr old three hundred lb pitcher, and whose veterans leaders “thing” is TO BLEACH THEIR HAIR BLONDE. It’s like I woke up in bizarro world and everything changed but the Mets.
But here we are. Our starting pitchers consistently taking leads through the 6th inning. Our bullpen consistently losing the lead, the Mets consistently fighting back. The only inconsistency is the W or L column. In back to back nights the Mets went from a walk off home run that got ROBBED (if you ever need a single play to describe the Mets season,this is the one) to tying the game bottom of the ninth and winning it bottom of the 11th.
The facts of the matter are this: The Mets will be looking to make their defense of the NL pennant without 4 of their 5 projected starting pitchers. Without Wright. Without Walker. Every veteran except Granderson is playing hurt. Not a single healthy current infielder was on the team this time last year. A deep run seems improbable and that’s without even considering having to play the Nationals, Cubs, or Dodgers. The Mets gave me six years of peaceful Septembers. In the three nights it has taken me to write this I think I have suffered three heart attacks. I can’t wait for the next one.