Following a desperation victory this afternoon at Shea, where exactly do our beloved Metsies rest in your heart? Sure, in realistic terms they have grasp of the NL East lead, by a thread, but nonetheless, they sit atop the standings. With the Braves and Phillies knocking at the door, does worry fill you from within? Are you confident heading into the final six weeks of this 2007 campaign? These are all curious questions I’ve been pondering the last few days.
This weekend was to mark the beginning of a vital nine game stretch against the lesser echelon ball clubs that the National League has to offer. A chance to perhaps pull out to a comfortable lead in the division race was at the forefront. In many respects the Florida Marlins are certainly a more than formidable squad. However, if you’re on a mission to be respected and feared, the inexperience and youth of the Marlins is something that you are obligated to capitalize on. The bullpen ravaged the morale of the Flushing faithful for much of this weekend prior to Sunday’s see-saw victory. Despite the win, the Fish stole two of three from the Mets, striking them with another disappointing dagger that has seemed to hit them on a day to day basis, it has almost become, dare I say, expected?
A confident swagger is what propelled the Mets magic in 2006. A ballgame was seemingly never out of reach. Behind five runs in the early innings, you had the belief a rally cap session at Shea was going to be capped off by a walk off blast into the deep and dark night sky. 2007 has not lived up to the hype of “2006 was only the beginning.” I have yet to witness that same passion and energy that was displayed a season ago. Six weeks remain; and I’d be hard pressed to recall a moment where I said the Mets were “hot.” Four games is the Mets lengthiest winning steak of the season. A far cry from the lengthy win streaks we grew accustomed to last year.
In many respects, this is the same team that fueled the drive to the NLCS a year ago. Might it be, that the taste of glory has gotten to their head? They don’t leave it all out on the field, and they don’t show the same fire out on the diamond as they once did. They had aspirations based around the notion that 07 would dwarf the accomplishments of 06. A newsflash is in order, just 44 games are left on the schedule, the fear of the Mets is insignificant, they have run ramped over no one.
Momentum is not an element you can just decide to power on with the flip of a switch. It’s a timely process that is built up over a span. Ron Darling alluded to it briefly during yesterday’s telecast. He said something along the lines that the final six weeks is when the Mets need to turn it on, because you don’t just get the swagger back at the doorstep of the playoffs, you need to get hot, similar to the World Champion Cardinals of last season.
I am confident, undoubtedly, for many reasons I myself cannot comprehend. Perhaps it is because any true Mets fan knows, you are bred to believe. “You Gotta Believe,” they are the words in which the cornerstone of the franchise is built upon. Sure the Braves frighten me, rightfully so, but the Mets are better, in these final grueling weeks, they will hopefully provides us all with a reason to indeed….believe.