By Mike Steffanos
Game 145: Mets 13 - Nationals 10
I have little inclination to dwell on the relative aesthetic merits of any September win. I know there are those who question how a team that gives up 18 runs in two games to the Nationals can hope to go far in the playoffs, but that's just silly to me. All I know is that the Mets were able to win both of those games, and you can't do anything in the playoffs if you don't get there.
I'm not going to spend a lot of time analyzing Pelfrey's efforts. I'm not going to spend any time thinking about Elijah Dukes. He's Manny Acta's problem, along with everyone who roots for that club and has to hope that their best player doesn't go off the deep end. Teams always seem to think they can fix a guy with deep anger issues, and usually they can't. In contrast, though, doesn't Dukes make the "controversy" that the New York press built up over Milledge seem trivial in comparison?
SNY's latest thing is to clutter their SportsNight with endless talking head discussion on different topics related to the New York area teams. Before my eyes glazed over and rolled back into my head I was watching one of those pseudo debates between Marc Malusis and Jonas Schwartz over whether the Mets could "go far in the playoffs" with their pitching. Sorry, I thought, clicking off my remote, I think I'll stick with worrying about making the playoffs for now.
Now that there are 17 days to go it seems we are bombarded with endless references to last season. While the Phillies continue to feel their own pressure this year and lose games they should be winning, they refer to last September more often that Rudy Giuliani invokes today's date in his speeches, as if 17 games is some sort of magic talisman that will somehow ensure the Mets falter again.
Last night was beautiful to me as a Mets fan precisely because it's the sort of game that shouts out "this ain't 2007, folks!" Indeed it's not, it's 2008 and these Mets find ways to pull these games out. There still is much that can happen between now and September 28, but anyone who believes this team is going to fold just because there are 17 games left and what happened last year are seriously deluding themselves. I can't guarantee the Mets will win the decision, but I feel safe in saying they won't lose it like that.
Speaking of SNY, last year I absolutely (and deservedly) killed them for abandoning Mets fans with no post-game stuff after the last game of the season was televised on channel 11 -- a continuation of what they did all month last September when the games weren't on SNY.
During last night's post game they mentioned they will be on after both Saturday's FOX telecast and Sunday's on Channel 11. So some kudos to SNY for getting the fact that the Mets are in a pennant race and serving the fans this time around. You guys are all right.