Tuesday night, the Mets' 162-game gully of godawfulness dried up on a winning note. The oft-cited record from May 30, 2007 forward concluded at 79-83.
Old news. New season from here on out.
The Mets are 1-0 as of Wednesday, May 28. Yeah, officially we have to graft it onto the 24-26 start and we have to make up some serious ground and we have to hustle and scrap and ignore our immediate past and forget the suffocating, invalidated hype and, in best Metlike fashion, hope for the best. But we know how to do that.
We're off to a wonderful start where that's concerned.
Right through the limp loss of Monday night, defeats in progress this season were numbing me, as in, well, that's the way the cookie crumbles, and the Mets' cookie was half-baked anyway. Not tonight. Tonight I would have been very sorry to have seen the Mets lose. More sorry than usual. Actually hurt by it because, gosh darn it, these boys deserved to win this one.
And they did! They did!
Ollie pitched better than three homers allowed would indicate. The bullpen was magnificent, even if Alfredo Amezaga, wearing No. 4, channeled Yadier Molina and eerily silenced Shea in the top of the twelfth. But the Mets, these Version '08.2 Mets, they punch back. Endy punches back with a homer of his own. Duaner never stops punching, whether bunting or pitching. And my main man Fernando Tatis punches most effectively of all, doubling home the tying run, doubling home the winning run. Tell me he's not happy to be here.
Castillo contributed. Reyes contributed. Beltran contributed. They're supposed to contribute, that's their job, but why does it suddenly all look so…contributory now? Why does this feel like a team in a way it hasn't until the very end of May? I don't know. Can't all be Tatis, Easley and Castro. Can't all be the return to Major League status of Schoeneweis and Heilman. Can't all be the 24 hours it took for whatever whoever said to Willie to kick in. Or maybe it could be all that and more.
Will it last? A couple of weeks ago, I skipped giddily from the first Subway Series scattering tales of 1985 and all the momentum that was there for the reaping. None of it was garnered. We'll see. That's all we can do. The Mets, it seems, will play. That's all they can do.
I'll watch. That's what I always do.
I'd be remiss in my own heart if I didn't mention Tuesday was the third anniversary of the passing of my beloved Bernie The Cat. For the fourth consecutive year, we found ourselves playing the Marlins on May 27. For the fourth consecutive year, the Mets beat the Marlins on May 27. For the fourth consecutive year, the Mets took the May 27 series against the Marlins. Never doubt, regardless of whatever Florida's got going on this season, that if it's Bernie versus the Marlins, the Fish don't stand a chance when a hungry cat is prowling about.