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

Meaningful Games in September

Ha ha. Yeah. That isn’t going to happen, though it was fun to tweet.

No, it really isn’t. Stop that. The problem is the Mets, despite being a daunting but not completely unimaginable 5 1/2 games out of the wild card, are behind four teams — the Marlins, Brewers, Braves and Pirates. The problem within that problem is the Pirates play seven games against the Brewers and Braves. Beyond the inconvenient fact that the Pirates have righted the ship and won five of their last six, if they collapse it means the Brewers and Braves unavoidably win games. Conversely, if the Brewers and Braves continue collapsing, the Pirates unavoidably win games. Put it all together and the Mets’ tragic number gets even more tragic.

Here are some things that really could happen though, and that would also be fun:

1) Win more than 74 freaking games: The last two years’ 74-88 finishes were signs of a team in stasis. Enough already.

The odds: With the Mets at 71-75 as I type, it would be a major letdown not to surpass this less-than-lofty mark. Hey, progress!

2) Catch the Marlins: Forget draft picks; the Marlins and their shambling nightmare of an owner are an embarrassment to not just the sport but also the species.

The odds: The Mets and Marlins both have 71 wins. Run those bastards down. For the good of all humankind.

3) Post a winning record after the All-Star Break: This was Greg’s goal for the boys [3] back in July:

Though it wouldn’t snap the sub-.500 string that extends back to 2009, 34-33 would indicate genuine accomplishment is legitimately in progress. It would be the step in the direction that we desire. It would echo resonantly the final two months of 1983, when a dismal start of 37-65 could be immediately consigned to the past because the 31-29 finish that followed foreshadowed the brighter future we so very badly craved. Thirty-one and twenty-nine to close out ’83 was when I knew in my heart the Mets were on the verge of escaping the mine shaft in which they’d been trapped since 1977.

The odds: For a winning post-ASG record, the Mets would have to go at least 8-8 the rest of the way — .500 ball. Is that doable? Well, the Mets have seven games remaining against the Nats, who’ve bruised and battered us something awful. On the other hand, if they go 2-5 against Washington and take the series against the Marlins, Braves (in Turner Field) and Astros, they get there. Here’s hoping.

4) Finish .500 or above: 10-6 would be a .500 season. 11-5 would make the Mets technically a winning team. Can they do that? A split with the Nats, taking two of three from the Marlins and Braves, going 1-2 against the Nats in DC and ending the season with a sweep of the Astros would be 10 wins.

The odds: Asking a lot. But not impossible. Hey, why not? This can be our World Series.

5) Enjoy baseball, because goddamnit baseball is fun: Did you see Rafael Montero [4] trying to act all cool after his first big-league win [5] was secured, failing utterly, and beaming brightly enough to light up all of Queens? That was awesome. Did you see Dilson Herrera [6] chugging home with his chin threatening to drill a hole in his breastbone, or doing the splits at first? That was awesome too. Did you see Dario Alvarez [7] showing off the breaking stuff that eluded him in his debut? Awesome times three. How about Carlos Torres [8] doing more fine work in relief, or Jenrry Mejia [9] getting to stomp a night after getting stomped? Both awesome.

The odds: Well, ultimately it’s up to you, isn’t it?