By Mike Steffanos
As I watched the Mets come from behind to just about dash the Fish's dwindling playoff shot, I was surprised that it didn't mean just a little bit more to me.
For two straight years the teal-clad bunch played loose with nothing of their own to lose and ended the Mets' playoff hopes. They savored ending another team's dream when theirs was flatlined -- I can only hope that they were thinking of that when they walked into their locker room with a bitter taste in their mouths.
What makes it even more ironic was that the Mets have been mailing it in for weeks. No matter what type of spin Jerry Manuel might want to put on it, the record speaks of a team that has absolutely quit on him.
The Mets have gone down quietly in ninth innings to closers a lot worse than the mediocre Leo Nunez, and there was little reason to think that it would be any different tonight.
But maybe all of the gloating from seasons past after their meaningless wins came back to haunt the Fish tonight. The Mets actually played the ninth like a real baseball team, and stole a win that the Marlins had to be already counting in their heads.
In the end this game was just a brief shining moment in the club's dark, dreary trudge to the finish line. The Mets will not avoid the dismal 90-loss mark and head into the off-season with more questions than answers. It's a very small consolation that the Marlins will be heading home next week, too, with the lesson of letting sleeping dogs lie a parting gift from their staggering division rival.