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Charmed Life (for Now)

Let’s go back to the top of the sixth Monday night, with the Mets facing the eternally irritating Marlins at a cheerfully rambunctious Citi Field. With the game tied at 1-1, two outs and runners on first and third, Derek Dietrich [1] popped up a 1-1 pitch from Sean Gilmartin [2]. It drifted over the Marlins’ dugout, where David Wright [3] was pressed against the railing, glove seeking ball.

If Wright had been a couple of inches taller, or a bit more of whatever the measurement is for stretchier, he would have caught the ball. Instead, it just eluded his glove for a foul ball and strike two. Dietrich singled on the next pitch and the Marlins led 2-1. Then J. T. Realmuto floated one over a leaping Wilmer Flores [4] and it was 3-1.

Worried? Pshaw. These are the 2015 Mets 2.0. With two out in the bottom of the frame, Juan Uribe [5] doubled. Three pitches later, Travis d’Arnaud [6] blasted a home run into the first row in right-center. The Marlins had led for all of 11 pitches. In the bottom of the seventh, with two men on, Wright recreated his long-ago hit over Johnny Damon [7]‘s head at Shea for a double. It scored Eric Young [8] Jr. (who now has four at-bats as a ’15 Met, six runs scored and no hits — pretty much the way one should use Eric Young Jr. in baseball games) and it would have scored Curtis Granderson [9] except it hopped into the stands.

That’s a stupid rule — anyone who’s watched more than a week of baseball knows Granderson would have scored even if he’d been helping a pal move a sofa around the bases — but never mind that now. The 4-3 lead was enough for a Mets win [10] and a sudden urge to salute Hot Rod Kanehl [11], Duffy Dyer [12] and Rusty Staub [13].

This is one of the sweetest stretches of baseball you can watch — the mid-September variety that doesn’t have particular urgency because things are going really well. (Goodness knows we’ve seen plenty of sour stretches that lacked urgency because things had gone fatally badly.) For Terry Collins [14], these games are testbeds for specific relief roles and opportunities for the strategic resting of veterans; for us, they’re sandboxes for reviving one’s dormant sense of Mets optimism. The Mets haven’t been in this position since 2006, except they’re playing better now than they were back then.

Enjoy it. Enjoy being cheerful about a two-run deficit, about pondering which uniform-related salute to break out next, about spending more time eyeing the Dodgers’ doings than the Nationals’ results. Because soon, very soon, this will be over. This string of crazy, Midas-touch games will end, as all such things must, and you will have doubts and worries again. And then those doubts and worries will be hugely magnified overnight. Every pitch will be life and death, joy or agony. Which will be awesome, of course, even as you’re certain it will kill you whatever the outcome.

You’ll enjoy that too. But it’ll be different. So savor this.

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Well, wouldja look at this [15]? Amazin’!