You know you're going well when your replacement second baseman who wins you the game the night before is replaced by another replacement second baseman and the only thing you are left to replace is the latest win on top of the pile of them. From our heinous roster to Argenis Reyes in a matter of weeks…nice.
You know you're going well when your bullpen, previously sponsored by Much Maligned — I had gotten to thinking the Mets' Much Maligned Bullpen was its official name — is a freestanding entity of valor and accomplishment. At the end of the game yesterday, DiamondVision announced the star of the afternoon was the combined corps of Muniz, Heilman, Schoeneweis and Wagner for their five hitless innings. A cheer went up. Ten minutes ago, Carlos Muniz was the most popular member of that crew and that was only because nobody knew who he was.
You know you're going well when a five-man one-hitter is impressive but only three times more impressive than what you'd grown used to over four straight games. The one hit, delivered by Colorado thorn Brad “Hippity” Hawpe, arrived so early that it dissolved all tension before it could develop, reminding me of my very first win at Shea 34 years earlier, a Jon Matlack one-hitter so matter-of-fact it didn't make the why-why-why? non-no-hitter cut.
You know you're going well when Pedro Martinez leaves with tightness in one or two places, you are told it's precautionary, that it's no big deal and you believe it.
You know you're going well when Jose Reyes hits the Smith on the Citi Smith Barney ad at the base of the scoreboard and Smith doesn't sue.
You know you're going well when Carlos Delgado lollygags as he scores on a Brian Schneider double and it's no cause for criticism and only a little for concern.
You know you're going well when Fernando Tatis is your No. 5 hitter and it's no cause for concern, just jubilation.
You know you're going well when David Wright is all glove even if he is, for a day, no bat.
You know you're going well when you
can can't finagle a Build-A-Bear, not being or having a kid, and you really don't mind. It's not like it's something awesome like a foam finger.
You know you're going well when the kid in front of you jumps up and down continuously — not continually, but continuously — for nine innings and you really don't mind that either (though they might want to think about laying in a Ritalin Day next homestand).
You know you're going well when you're introduced to your Shea Goodbye seven-pack seats in Upper Deck, Section 3, Row Q and instead of bitching about the hike, you're impressed with the vista you'll have for the final game. Row Q is covered, even.
You know you're going well when you're reintroduced to the U-Haul sign which had been hiding from everyone below Upper Deck, Row Q since Opening Day and it's like
You know you're going well when your friend Andrea who hasn't joined you for a game in four years or for a win in eight years offers to drive and you guide her to a spot in the Marina and it's a summer festival over there. I don't ever remember the World's Fair Marina being so full of tailgates and football tosses. I remember it being mostly deserted, but that was, literally, in the last century.
You know you're going well when your semi-regular Saturday stop & chat with CharlieH produces from his wallet a 1974 Cleon Jones card, which was highly attractive, though right now I'll take a 2008 Fernando Tatis in left.
You know you're going well when you find Kevin from Flushing standing next to you between Sections 1 and 2 of the Upper Deck, right where you both said you'd be even though it took each of you about a minute to look up and figure out you were who you were supposed to be. Then again, it took the Mets three months to do the same.
You know you're going well when a total stranger recognizes you on the way out from your blog, even though he calls you Jason (which I'll take as a compliment). Thanks for saying hi, Matt.
You know you're going well when you've made it through an entire day at Shea and realized you've not heard one sustained boo.
You know you're going well when you've begun the final page of The Log with a win.
You know you're going well when you remember clearly a pre-All-Star hot streak from 1991 (seven straight, all on the road) and 1996 (four straight before the final Sunday) and the granddaddy of all pre-All Star hot streaks (1990's 26-5), and even though you know those seasons' second halves tailed off, you don't worry 'cause you're enjoying your team and their eight-game winning streak and their sudden half-game distance from first place far, far too much.
You know you're going well. Is there any better feeling?