The fate of the Mets season is in their hands, and their hands only. With seven games left to play and the Phillies only two and half behind, it is still anybody’s division. But the Mets need not worry if the Phillies win or lose. The only thing they need to concentrate on is taking care of their own business.
The Washington Nationals come in to town tonight, and Willie Randolph believes in payback. The Mets can’t let the Nats play spoiler. However, it would be more than alright with me for the Braves to ruin it for Philly. Look at this way – from an Atlanta standpoint – the Braves probably still feel like they have something to fight for. And in all actuality, they do. As we have seen, anything can happen in this game. As long as a team is not mathematically eliminated, they still have a chance. And if for no other reason, than to move ahead of Philly and take second place, as opposed to third. Atlanta has been playing very well over the past week. Hopefully their success will continue over their next 3 games.
The Mets’ magic number is down to five. We can all agree that this division should have been won already. But good things are worth waiting for. I feel it will be a good thing if this team goes right into the postseason without a chance to rest after clinching. They need to keep their momentum going. I understand it has been a long season and they are exhausted. Moises Alou said it himself after the game yesterday. But a break for this team would not serve them well.
The Mets’ offense continues to produce. There is no better line-up in the National League. Power, key hits, speed and patience is what this offense is made of. And what a bench! The bullpen is a different story. Now I know Wagner is the one who literally blew the save yesterday. And I’d be the first to say that he gets paid a lot of money to simply get three outs. However, no one is perfect, and even the best pitchers are going to make mistakes. When working with a one-run lead, a mistake means more than it would if there was a 3 run lead. But as far as I am concerned, it was Aaron Heilman who almost lost yesterday’s game for the Mets, not Billy Wagner. It is so unfortunate that Omar Minaya was unable to get some pitching for this team going down the stretch. Even when (not if) the Mets make the postseason, will our pitching be able to keep us in it?
The bad news is that with the Phillies off today, the earliest the Mets can clinch is Wednesday. The good news is that whenever they do clinch, it will be at home. Maybe Paul LoDuca will drag out the garden hose and spray the fans at Shea, as he did last year, symbolic of the champagne that the players spray on each other in the clubhouse! Maybe this year the Mets will sweep their first round opponents, as they did the Dodgers last year! And maybe this year the Mets will win it all, as they almost did last year!
Hopefully this time next year when I write, I can remove the "almost" from the last sentence…
Let’s Go Mets!