A Week in the Life of Mets Fan.
TORRINGTON: I’m not sure we Mets fans have seen such a week in our long, long, long history of long weeks.
For it to end as it did on Sunday night in front of a national audience on ESPN where they completed an improbable three-game sweep of a team, to borrow a Pedro Martinez line, who has been, “Our Daddy” was even more remarkable.
The Washington Nationals have had two home fields over the past few years. The love their park in the national capital for certain but also have a silent liking of the field in Queens, the supposed home of the New York Metropolitans.
They took nine of ten meeting in the house that Citi helped build a year ago but over a three-day, 52-hour period that just finished last night, the new-look Mets did something we have not seen them do in a long, long time.
They energized Citi Field to the point where you could hear the roar through the television, must have been a blast in person.
To say we are a starving for attention group would be an understatement but even more than that, we are a group looking for something to cheer ABOUT.
You couldn’t have written a stranger, more tragic, more rags to riches story (at least for a day or two) if you had gotten awards for doing just that in print.
The Wilmer Flores saga alone could have made into a movie (at least a short?) but has one young man ever shown the real emotion that goes into playing a game for a living, but loving the team family you have been part of better than he did?
Sure, they say there is no crying in baseball but the way it was handled seemed to symbolize what was wrong with the organization.
The Mets are not known for thinking of the little things, like telling the manager or the player that they have been traded (maybe) and perhaps pulling him out of the game.
Not getting Carlos Gomez, the big bat the team (last in hitting in the National League) really needed seemed typical, no surprise. That’s the way of the Mets, we fans would say.
When it was reported that the team may have backed out of the deal not because of health issues (please tell me the Mets doctors didn’t examine the poor guy) but due to financial concerns, we told ourselves that of course they did.
Nothing gets in the way of a good deal with the Wilpon group like writing a check with too many zeros, we thought.
Turns out the best deal you make is sometimes the one you don’t make and for once, this was the case for the Mets and a starving fan base.
Before things turned good though, we had to be kicked in the head one more time by blowing a 7-1 lead to the Padres on Thursday and limped into Friday on life support in hopes of making any kind of run towards the post season.
The post season to Mets fans has become a time in which we don’t have to worry about staying up late in October. Oh no, it’s the time we get ready for some football!
Now, I’m a Jets fan so I’m not going to go there, yet.
Then came the deal for a bat on deadline day, Friday. First we heard that the team was hot in pursuit of Jay Bruce with Zach Wheeler (out for the year after Tommy John) the main player going to the Reds.
When that deal went cold during a frenzied Twitter Friday, you just waited to be disappointed again with a big market team that acts like a tiny market one at times.
Sure, picking up Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe along with Tyler Clippard were okay moves but the lineup was still fairly pathetic.
If nothing else, the Mets management needed to break the notion that they would not spend money in an attempt to improve the team.
At 3:50 p.m. or so on Friday, word came out that the team had gotten outfielder Yoenis Cespedes from the Tigers.
It was a rare sight for us fans, the team was actually one of the winners in the deadline game, a position we are certainly not used to being in.
Still though, we still had to go into the Washington series three games behind at a time of the year that we are used to making different plans for the fall that exclude baseball.
A continued losing streak and we could all have but said goodbye.
Fast forward to this morning and after the three pitching studs that resemble power staffs named Seaver, Koosman and Gentry in 1969 and Gooden, Darling and Fernandez in 1986, did their thing, the team finds themselves tied for first on August 3.
The last time we saw even a tie at the top spot this late was in 2008.
On Friday, Flores cemented his place with Mets fans at the highest level when he stroked the game winning home run in the bottom of the twelve inning, an ending that could not have been more fitting for a great kid.
Matt Harvey was long gone by the end of this one but pitched into the eighth inning and allowed just one run.
On Saturday, the Cespedes deal paid immediate dividends for the team when he was walked in front of Lucas Duda, who has suddenly become Babe Ruth at the dish.
Duda had already hit a pair of home runs to tie the score at 2. Why the Nats choose to pitch to him again is something fans can just thank them for but he made them pay with the game winning double that brought the Amazing’s within one game of the top spot.
In game two, Jacob DeGrom was relatively human (6 innings, 2 runs) but kept his team in the game and they pulled it out.
Sunday night brought something we are just not used to.
A nationally televised ESPN game in prime time with something on the line and a mythical figure on the mound, nicknamed “Thor”.
Noah Syndergaard, the last of the three studs, outpitched his slightly more seasoned teammates with a brilliant eight inning performance in which he struck out nine and allowed just two runs.
His strike out of Nationals star, Bryce Harper was the stuff fans live for. Nearly 36,000 fans on their feet for every pitch. Haven’t seen that for a good while around here, that’s for sure.
A five-run third inning that happened so fast that Met killer Jordan Zimmerman still may not know what happened. Zimmerman had owned the Mets coming in but three home runs in seven pitches will change ones perspective.
Duda again capped things off with a long drive that I still don’t know how he kept fair after Curtis Granderson and Daniel Murphy had given away souvenirs in the Pepsi Porch before him.
It was a nice piece of irony that Clippard got the save after being a member of Washington for seven seasons.
Now, here it comes, that old Mets negative vibe, sorry can’t shake it.
Tonight they travel to take on the Florida Marlins who sport a 43-62 record. From Miami, the team heads to Tampa to take on the Rays (52-54).
Monday night, the vaunted rotation will be icing down while the ageless one, Bartolo Colon takes the mound. To say that Colon has been awful of late would be kind although he did pitch well two starts back against the Dodgers (8 innings, one run).
He is 0-6 in his last seven starts with an ERA of 6.16.
Losing momentum at this point would not be a good idea but this is a team that has struggled on the road with a record of 17-32 for the season.
It was a fun weekend but one that will fade away quickly if the Mets cannot find a way to win away from a suddenly crazed Citi Field.
What will the next week bring? Stay tuned. Hey, at least we are still talking about the Mets.