Declare a national holiday! The Mets won a ballgame! Or maybe it took the declaration of a national holiday dedicated to the proposition that all teams are created equally flawed these days for the Mets to prevail for a change rather than succumb per usual. However it happened, we hold this truth to be self-evident: the Mets played and didn’t lose on Friday night.
By returning home and topping Texas, 6-5, the Mets climbed to within 10 games of .500. Factor in overall run differential and you’ll get the exact same result.
The last time they had won a game was the previous Saturday in Pittsburgh. That, if your memory stretches back far enough, occurred when they dressed as the Brooklyn Royal Giants. This, then, marked the first time Mets, as the Mets, emerged victorious since two Tuesdays ago — though with those dopey Fourth of July caps they were wearing, can we be really sure those were the Mets?
• Their star player, who has appeared neither in a box score nor on a Disabled List in more than a week, remained in limbo.
• Their pseudoace got knocked out in the first inning by a line drive to the back that didn’t necessarily appear to detract from his ability to pitch, safety carrying the day over potential sorrow.
• They took a lead on a home run that was initially called a double.
• They gave back the lead on a grounder that ate up the third baseman who’s been subbing for the aforementioned purgatoried star player.
• They regained the lead with the help of that very same subbing third baseman who can’t field much but sure can hit.
• They almost blew the game on a pop fly that traveled ominously through unseasonable wind currents.
• They took more than four hours to win the damn thing in eight-and-a-half innings.
Yup, those were the Mets.
David Wright went nowhere near the field despite repeated advisements to the contrary; Jon Niese went down to the clubhouse for Prevention & Recovery in decidely ill humor; Carlos Torres went reasonably long in his stead; Lucas Duda went deep upon something short of further review; Eric Campbell went 3-for-3 at the plate despite proceeding not quite so perfectly with his glove; Travis d’Arnaud went to the opposite field with authority when it mattered in the bottom of the eighth to drive in two; and, to keep Fireworks Night from exploding in their faces, Daniel Murphy went to Ruben Tejada’s position to snag the final ball of the game, the one that appeared ready to Castillo all over them. He used two hands, the Mets beat the Rangers by one run and the blind squirrels of Flushing came up with an acorn.
The Mets won. It’s been known to happen. Just not that often is all.