In one of those misbegotten seasons when Daniel Murphy doesn’t leave too soon on Jason Bay’s sacrifice fly but Angel Pagan forgets to brush a foot over second, Pagan is out at first before Murphy gets home — and Murphy likely leaves too soon anyway. But the whole thing is moot because Bay strikes out looking.
In one of those seasons we’re too used to, Pagan doesn’t catch Lyle Overbay’s high fly ball with his glove to the wall. The wall catches it and his glove gets there a second too late for it to count as anything but a trapped double — and it probably bounces off his glove and over the wall so that the opponents’ fireworks show is gloating rather than embarrassing.
In another season that isn’t this one the way this season is right now, Willie Harris comes up with two out and immediately makes it three out. Scott Hairston remains stuck on one home run forever. Chris Capuano patiently explains away his frustration at being saddled with another no-decision or loss. Jose Reyes doesn’t smile once when asked about the obvious toll the pressure is taking on him as he attempts to carry the club on his slender shoulders. R.A. Dickey may be ready soon to throw off a mound for the first time in weeks, or he may not be ready for a while. Carlos Beltran isn’t close to resuming baseball activities. Justin Turner toils away in Buffalo. Johan Santana is shut down until next spring. Terry Collins storms out of his postgame presser…again.
But that’s not this season. Not now it isn’t.
I don’t know what it will be before long. I’ve attended too many dadgum Met rodeos that went all to tarnation to allow me to completely buy into the exhilaration these 2011 Mets are providing more often than not of late. These are the same 2011 Mets who have yet to rise above .500 since April 6. Their most flattering relevant recent sample size — 7-3 since June 2 — isn’t large enough to have tipped the overall scales in their favor. Their long-term success — 27-20 since April 21 — hasn’t been, from an objective statistical standpoint, all that successful.
They’re a surprising 32-33 in 2011? They were 43-32 in 2010, 33-29 in 2009, 82-63 in 2008, 83-62 in 2007, 68-60 in 2005, 43-40 in 2004. I wouldn’t give you more than two plug nickels for the way those rodeos disintegrated when crunch time arrived.
Nevertheless, I watch the 2011 Mets bear down and hang with ’em. They scratch out the run they need to take a lead; they make the catch they need to preserve the lead; they kickstart the rally they need to extend the lead; and they dock serenely on the shores of the Allegheny with a tougher-than-it-sounds 7-0 win over Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh.
It’s not important to wonder how long this kind of thing might last. It’s important to enjoy that it’s going on now.