I'm not quite sure what happened last night, but a game that seemed to begin as a mirror image of Monday's game somehow morphed into something else entirely, as if the Mets and Cardinals had drifted into an alternate dimension where the faults of each team, specifically the Mets, seemed to turn into strengths. All of a sudden, here were the Mets, getting up off the mat after falling behind 3-1, and getting a big hit from Castro to tie the game, more hits from Delgado, Church and Castro to take the lead, and a long HR from Wright to cap it all off. Tony Armas, who seemed to hold all the promise of Chan Ho Park as he made his spot start Mets debut, shook off what appeared to be a meltdown of Lima-esque proportions early on and held the line, going so far as to shut the Cardinals down in the 5th inning after the Mets had gone ahead, and earned himself a W.
It's rare, but after all the dumbfounding losses the Mets have had over the first half of the season, they kicked off the second half with a dumbfounding win. Maine's dead arm debacle on Monday did nothing to inspire any confidence, and following that up with a spot starter in Tony Armas, who wasn't very good to begin with, certainly didn't bring much hope. But that appears to be the way this season has gone for the Mets. A little bad, a little good, more bad, some good, dash of bad, sprinkle of good and so on and so forth. So, why not Tony Armas? As if nothing else has worked up to now. And after the first two innings, it appeared that this wasn't going to work either. But, somehow, the Mets hung around and started to hit Todd Wellemeyer, another one of these overachieving Cardinals pitchers. And as Howie and Wayne were busy discussing the genius and the mastery of the Great LaRussa, and here I was getting angry hearing about it, and even angrier when Howie made some references to the NLCS two years ago, and yet here were the Mets chipping away and dragging themselves kicking and screaming back into the game, taking the lead, and before I could really wrap my mind around what was going on, Wagner had closed it out, and the Mets beat the Cardinals.