Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Shot Heard by No One

Had this been a meaningful game, I probably would have torn away from my obligations on the hideous rock we know as Staten Island and found my way to a TV at 4pm once the game began.

Had this been a meaningful game, I might have sat down immediately after the game's conclusion and written about how this was the kind of game that embodied the spirit of the Mets, and what a great, championship-quality win it was, and lauded David Wright for his heroics.

Unfortunately, things haven't worked out that way for the Mets, who we'd figured would have been right there with the Phillies throughout the season, making this weekend's series one of those breathless affairs that I would have spent an entire weekend writing about (such as I did last season). Instead, the Phillies have spent most of the season manhandling the Mets to the tune of a 5-9 record to this point of the season, with the common theme being the Phillies basically exerting their will on a depleted Mets team by game's end.

Essentially, the current standing of both teams at the current time makes it somewhat difficult for me to get too high and mighty about the way this afternoon's game turned out.

But there are a few things for us Mets fans to hang our hats on:

It's always nice to kick the Phillies in the nuts, especially after they seem to be the ones who usually do it to us this time of the season. It's really their time of the year, September. We're usually fading into oblivion, or, in the case of this season, already there. But perhaps the shoe is now on the other foot. It's now the Big, Bad Phillies who are the Alpha Dog, and the Mets who are the Laughable Losers just trying to make some noise.

For the Phillies, well, now you know how it feels to have a bullshit bullpen that you can't rely on. This is one of those things that can snowball. Think about how the Mets played out last September. The Bullpen was pressing because of the pressure of the situation. The offense was pressing because they felt like they had to somehow constantly score enough runs to offset the deficient Bullpen. And it began to repeat itself constantly, one end or the other. Sometimes both. The end result wasn't pretty. Of course, this is all hearsay, and the 2009 Phillies aren't the 2008 Mets. They've had their crucible and proved themselves worthy, far beyond anything the Mets have accomplished. And they're really rolling unchallenged towards another playoff appearance. But, still, you can't help but feel just a little bit nervous about the way the Bullpen has performed, to the tune of 16 blown saves by 2 separate closers this season, and to the tune of blowing a 5-run lead against a team that never scores any runs.

In a completely lost season for the Mets, it's good to see that David Wright, who has performed, at best, uneven this season, come through with a pair of HRs in the 8th and 9th innings, innings which he's had a hard time with over the past year or two. And these weren't meaningless HRs, these were runs that counted, to draw the Mets close and then put them over the top.

I didn't get home until close to 6:30pm today and I didn't put the game on until about 7. I'd actually forgotten it was on. But I chimed in just in time to see Tatis reach on a single that snuck past Ryan Howard. Wright's second HR came on the next pitch. And, I have to say, for the first time in weeks, I exulted while watching the Mets. I took some smug satisfaction in making all those Maroon-faced dopes shut up. The Mets could go out and lose both games of tomorrow's Game and Game, and it wouldn't matter. Today's game has to be one of the more gratifying moments in a mostly miserable season.

No comments: