The Mets won last night in a game that really had all the trappings of a classic Mets loss. Think about it for a second. The Mets played a game in which Daisuke Matsuzaka weaseled his way in and out of continuous trouble through 7 innings against a Braves lineup that tends to look their best against the Mets (but in reality is kind of middling) only to have the entire game implode in the span of about 10 minutes in a disastrous top of the 8th inning where the Braves basically made the Mets look like Mets. A tenuous 2-0 lead that had been nursed into the late innings was gone, and now the Mets were staring yet another 1-run loss in the face.
But somehow, the Mets didn't lose the game. Instead of folding against Luis Avilan and the specter of Chokemaster Kimbrel in the 9th inning, the Mets, or more appropriately, Curtis Granderson stoned up and belted a tying Home Run that kind of came out of nowhere in the last of the 8th.
Still this seemed like more setup for disaster. Instead of simply blowing the lead, they were just going to tie the game only to extend things into extra innings so they could lose. The Mets had a golden opportunity to finish things off in the 9th after a controversial Instant Replay ruling resulted in Andrelton Simmons getting exposed for being too nonchalant and resulted in a) the Mets having 2 men on and none out in the 9th inning and b) Fredi Gonzalez doing his best Charlie Manuel "Indignant Fat Manager" argument routine until he was ejected. But instead of bunting in a situation that screamed for it, Terry Collins instead sent up Lucas Duda, which is tantamount to screaming that the bunt is off. Duda hit into a Fielder's choice, forcing the lead runner at 3rd and pretty much screwing up the entire inning so that the Mets didn't score and the game was headed into extra innings, where disaster generally seems imminent for the Mets.
But, again, there was no disaster, Carlos Torres came in and pitched just splendidly for two innings, while the Mets went down quietly against Shae Simmons (not Shea, more appropriate in these parts) in the 10th, but eventually rallied in the 11th, thanks to a Juan Lagares double and a 2-out RBI single from Ruben Tejada to win the game and send Tejada scampering across the Outfield while his towel-waving teammates chased him around. Yes, for all his foibles, Ruben Tejada now has authored the last two Mets walkoff wins with 2-out, Extra inning RBI hits. In both cases, Tejada ended up being the crowning hero in a game where the Mets were right on the verge of losing. In this particular instance, it's a big hit because the Mets were playing a team that swept them and really made them look silly last week, and now the Mets have the opportunity to punch back a little bit. I've said it before, but the Barves aren't exactly a team of world-beaters. The Mets just have had a bit of poor fortune to play some of their idiot games against them. But for a team that's in 1st place, they're eminently beatable. It's just a matter of time before they get exposed. That the Mets beat them Monday night isn't going to salvage the season for the Mets, but if nothing else, it shows that they have a pulse and aren't just going to continue to bow down to a bunch of paper tigers.