Is there any irony in the fact that we've been bemoaning our injuries this year, and the difficulty of making moves given the economic Madoff mess that affected the Mets. We're still chaffing over the last two years, and the disgraceful defense and fundamental baseball played by the, what should we call them, Bench Mets, subMets, over the last two months.
Here it is, a week later, and hey -- they've gone 5-2. A mini five-game winning streak, sound baseball with good pitching and good defense, and wonder of wonder, nobody in Mike's Mets world has the time to note the good news. I know Mike has other fish to fry right now, but come on everybody. What's up?
Is that a symptom of our society? Perhaps in part. Television reports bad news, and the good stuff might get a mention somewhere toward the end of the telecast. People are so quick to complain and share bad news. How often do you tell someone about great food and great service in a restaurant ahead of when the food was terrible or the waiter or waitress was terrible?
Should we get our hopes up? I'm not, not for a while yet. I'm not that stupid. Five in a row was nice, starting to look at the wild card race is nice, but I've also listened to Gary, Keith, and Ron. Those guys are the best -- Kevin, too. They're realistic. It's not so much how far behind the Mets are right now in the wild card race, along with the fact that the only injured player who's showing signs of coming back soon is Billy Wagner. Excuse me? Billy Wagner? Hello, Jose? Carlos? Carlos? Maine? Has anyone filled out a missing persons report?
As they've been pointing out, the challenge is in the number of teams you have to climb over. It's not the Phillies that have to be overcome, it's the Giants and the Cubs and the Cardinals and Marlins and Braves and Astros, oh my. Thankfully, it's not Lions and Tigers and Bears, but it may as well be.
Perhaps NostraDennis put it best, in his Zen and the Mets. We have to take each day one at a time, and see if we can get some satisfaction from it. Like last night. Battling back. Couple of home runs, in CitiField no less. Feliciano gives up a leadoff hit, and so Manuel calls on Green. What does Green light do? Hits the first guy, then walks the next guy. Bases loaded, tie game, eighth inning, no out. Thanks Sean.
Then, incredibly, a hard grounder right to first. Is Murphy becoming Keith Hernandez? Looks like Keith's been working with him, because Murphy is now aggressively going where he should. Ever since I saw him throw the ball into left field on a double-play grounder, he's been sharp as anything. Last night, he fires a strike to Santos, who returns it for the first-home-first twin-killing. Could it be? Could the Mets get out of a bases-loaded, no out situation without allowing a run in a tie game late? Clutch pitch by Green? Way to go.
Oops. Next pitch. Wild pitch. Not a chance for Santos. Nice going Sean. Winning run scores. Game over. By the way, Gary points out that that is the 10th double play Murphy has started since taking over at first. TENTH. STARTED. I like that. We'll have a new first baseman if he can start hitting like last year.
Anybody noticing how many grounders the Bench Mets are hitting? Third, short, second, pitcher. Occasionally even to first. Double plays. You name it. Two hoppers, rollers, sharp at 'em balls. Not very many through.
Given the circumstances, injury, financial, farm system, whatever you want to call it, I wasn't surprised that the Mets didn't make any moves at the trade deadline. Francouer for Church was a minor one, given one bats left and the other bats right. Francouer historically doesn't miss any time. Church, well, we all know how that worked out. Francouer is several years younger, but strikes out a whole lot more. We all know you can only judge a trade two or three years down the line. Why make a judgment on it now? So far, Francouer's been a shot in the arm in the lineup.
The story I really enjoyed was the Mets fan astronaut. How would you like to take Shea Stadium's home plate to the Hubble Space Telescope? That was cool. Nice guy -- I enjoyed Kevin's interview. Didn't know anything about it, until my son, a space junkie, told me about it. Take that, Yankee fans. You may have the old façade going around the stadium like it used to many years ago-- looks good, by the way -- but I'd be surprised if your old home plate got to go anywhere outside of the south Bronx.
Until or unless we get a ten-game winning streak, it's time to turn up the music. Sing along and we can try to appreciate the good things, like a pinch-hit grand slam by Tatis to break up a tie game, or a rash of triples, or Cory Sullivan looking like a player.