- Faith and Fear in Flushing - http://www.faithandfearinflushing.com -

Damn Pretty, Damn Proud

Jason is glad the Mets are back — and hoping he feels the same way after tonight's game.

That was my Facebook [1] message late this afternoon — happiness at baseball being back, eagerness to see if the Mets could continue their Lazarus act, and yes, worry that tonight would prove the beginning of the cruelest possible tease from a team that's specialized in them. As the Mets go, I'm what financial types (and dorks channeling them) would call a lagging indicator — whether it's distrust or just being slow on the uptake, I felt myself slide into Watch This With One Eye mode after the Reds battered Johan around their park. (Which was curiously muted on SNY — did anyone else notice that? You could hear Gary and Keith just fine, and the sound off the bat, but the crowd was a faraway, tinny buzz. It was like a really crappy 80s console game.)

But then all of a sudden Wright singled in two, it was 5-4 and my dim brain remembered that hey, we'd reeled off nine in a row. And then Fernando Tatis lofted a fly ball over that too-close fence in right-center (we'll take it) and it was 6-5 and Johnny Cueto was trudging off with that look you see on the faces of fireballing rookies whose brains need to catch up with their arms — anger and embarrassment and the disbelief of the youthful who really had no idea that what just befell them was even possible. And so when Scott Schoeneweis missed Schneider's glove and hit all of Javier Valentin's bat, I kept both eyes on the proceedings. We'd already shown the kind of fight rarely imagined in the June '07-June '08 Year of Famine; who would be so low and vile a nonbeliever as to say there wasn't more where that had come from?

And indeed, WHAM WHAM WHAM WHAM WHAM WHAM! Argenis Reyes got us started in the ninth, despite the fact that he's done something ill-advised to his head and now looks like a butterscotch sundae. Wright got us even, Delgado got us out in front, and Tatis got us insured. And Billy Wagner decided there'd been quite enough drama, thank you. 10-8 Mets [2].

And now what's this? There appears to be somebody in our seat.

You — the guy dressed in red, with the fans who are even meaner than ours and the cheesesteaks. Yeah, you. Out. What's that you say? We're 52-44, so git. Really? Lemme see. Huh. How about that. So what do we do now?

Ninety-six games turned out to settle nothing. Here we are, Mets and Phillies, tied atop the NL East with 66 games to settle it. It's marvelous. It's unexpected. It's baseball, in other words. God how I've missed it.