By Mike Steffanos
Game 160: Marlins 6 - Mets 1 (Friday)
Game 161: Mets 2 - Marlins 0 (Saturday)
And now the season comes down to Oliver Perez on short rest. Somehow that seems fitting.
Of course Johan Santana was all that and a bag of chips today. I've been watching this team for a long time and I can't remember a better pitched game with everything riding on it, particularly since Johan was on short rest and has been throwing a lot of pitches in his last few starts. Leiter was great in the one-game playoff vs. Cincinnati in '99, but he had runs to work with.
For the second year in a row, the Mets go into the final Sunday of the season tied for a playoff spot. It doesn't sound like they're going to get much help from the Cubs, which is probably only fitting. The Mets were in the driver's seat at one point, but haven't played very well since sweeping in Milwaukee at the beginning of September. If they do keep it going after tomorrow, they can't look for help. It's up to them.
I don't know what will happen tomorrow, but I'm grateful that Santana was able to give them a chance. In a September that has seen me disappointed with this club more often than not, it was an opportunity to get swept up in all of the things that make me love this game.
I guess if I have one hope for Sunday's game beyond the obvious one of winning and making the playoffs it's that the Mets truly compete for it. Friday night's game had the feeling of last season's finale, although Pelfrey battled okay without his best stuff. It just seemed when they fell behind early that they weren't up to the task. I hope for better than that this time.