No, I’m not being cute. Too tired for that. I’m acknowledging that we’ve reached a familiar point in the progression of a lost season, though this familiar point isn’t the big reveal.
The big reveal is that the games you’re watching are expository bric-a-brac, part of the lead-in to the real story, which you just realized isn’t being written this year. You’re in the Smudge , skimming the agate type, watching the stuff folks want to fast-forward through to get to the point where the action starts. Only there isn’t a fast-forward button. You just gotta wait.
That’s the big reveal, and it’s behind us. This is what comes after. And this is the point that always arrives as part of that falling action: the night when you stop fighting and just let baseball be baseball. You watch (when you aren’t doing something else) and cheer when things go well (though sadly that’s a little muted) and groan when things go badly (though that’s a little muted too, which you think is a kindness until you realize that actually it’s the saddest part).
There’s still some drama ahead, of course. There will be trades and moaning about trades and call-ups and stupid small-sample-size arguments about call-ups and a few exciting finishes. But it’s all lowercase from now until sometime next spring.
And so our world has shrunk to this: winning > losing. Simple as that.
So. Jacob deGrom was good, as he has been for a long stretch that’s been a balm for weary Mets souls. The Mets whacked Mike Leake around but good, the kind of outburst that often follows fallow periods of woe and is simultaneously pleasing and annoying, because when it happens it looks so easy and we have to remind ourselves that it’s anything but. We got a reminder that the Cardinals aren’t good, then one that the Mets aren’t good — they commenced to play stupid defensively, forcing deGrom from the game before his usual seven innings were recorded. At that point the game became more interesting though less entertaining, but Addison Reed put down the uprising (during which you could feel the appraisals in distant front offices) and the Mets had won .
They won. That will suffice for now. It’s no longer particularly important, but it feels better to watch.