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

Laughers

If you’re a fan of a bad football team, it’s possible that you’ll spend an entire season of Sundays without a win — an entire season without a single day of smiling or feeling a spring in your step.

Happily, that can’t happen in baseball. Even if your team is awful, you’re guaranteed 50 or so days of joy. And a least a few of those wins will be the happiest variety of all. They’ll be laughers.

When things are going well, a laugher is like a benediction from the baseball gods: Yes, you really are that good. When things are going so-so, a laugher suggests the great possibilities inherent in your team, if only the players would bear down or fortune would smile. When things are going badly, a laugher is a respite from the dismay — a day in which you can exhale and not take it all so hard.

It’s not clear whether the Mets are one of the so-so teams or one of the bad ones, but they pretty obviously needed a laugher, and Steven Matz [1] and the Dodgers delivered, supplying an 8-0 victory [2] and a series win. A series win on the road, in fact. On the road and on the other side of the world, in fact. Will wonders never cease?

Young Matz doesn’t know anything except laughers. He’s never appeared in a game he hasn’t won. He’s never appeared in a game in which the Mets have scored less than seven runs. He’s never appeared in a game and failed to collect an RBI. He’s never appeared in a game that wasn’t worthy of paroxysms of joy from his grandfather.

The 999th Met in club history — a prelude to a milestone I was happy to hear trumpeted on Twitter and WOR today — isn’t blind. He knows perfectly well that the Mets don’t normally score seven runs in a week, and that pitchers don’t key the offensive attack most days. But Matz is old enough to also know that baseball is a cruel game, one in which bad luck will undo preparation and the virtuous often go unrewarded.

In other words, he knows this won’t last. Not because of any flaw in his makeup or any lack of talent, but because it never does.

Which means he also probably knows that you laugh while you can.