I sort of get the feeling that the Mets won tonight's game in spite of themselves. Like many of the games before this, the Mets appeared to play in a fog, only scoring a few runs and somehow hanging on when the Nationals must have forgotten who they were playing in the 9th, and the Closer du Jour Pedro Feliciano retired the side in order to close out a rather nerve-wracking 4-3 victory.
This would be the kind of game the Mets would win, wouldn't it? When their ace doesn't have it, spits a 2-0, first inning lead right back. When Carlos Beltran comes up with a hit with 2 out and a man in scoring position for the first time since the Kennedy Administration. When a guy who has what I believe to be a career batting average of .176 hits a game-tying HR. When the Mets score the winning run when THE OTHER TEAM'S BULLPEN FUCKED IT UP! It figures that the only way the Mets would win a game like this would be because a guy got hit in the head, and debatable so. The way things have gone lately, a reversal of the call wouldn't have been much of a surprise. But, miracle of miracles, the call stood, the run scored, and the Mets bullpen actually held the lead.
The threat of a starter, Maine, Perez or Pelfrey, having to go to the Bullpen to save the team's soul might not have been an actual threat so much as a motivational tactic. Maybe it worked. Then again, even monkeys fall from trees. Any one of those three guys has to be feeling the heat right now. The state of the bullpen is in such flux that they all ought to feel as though they need to throw 8 innings every time out, and hope they have enough of a lead that the 9th inning can cobble itself together. It seems like that's what happened tonight.