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Weird Game, Weird Season

The Mets didn’t lose, though it kind of feels that way.

2015 isn’t a flaming disaster, though it kind of feels that way.

What’s going on here?

Reality check: The Mets beat the Diamondbacks [1], 6-2. It’s the early hours of June 5 and they are in first place.

So why doesn’t it feel that way? Why does it feel like we’re standing on our heads and all the numbers are backwards?

I’m not sure — it doesn’t make any sense. But I know I’m not alone. Mets Twitter is an echo chamber of disgust, shame and despair, and that’s with all of the above still true.

Some ideas:

1) Win or not, first place or not, the team is owned by people in dire financial straits, a situation about which they’re chronically dishonest. This financial anvil hovers above the fanbase’s collective head at all times, and it’s a little disconcerting to say the least.

2) The offense and defense are iffy — too iffy to put any trust in.

3) Oh my God, someone probably went on the DL while I read this sentence. Zack Wheeler [2], Travis d’Arnaud [3], David Wright [4], Buddy Carlyle [5], Jenrry Mejia [6], Jerry Blevins [7], Bobby Parnell [8], Vic Black [9], Dilson Herrera [10]. What the heck, man? Sure enough, Daniel Murphy [11] was pulled tonight and has a date with the MRI tube.

4) Terry Collins [12] keeps being Terry Collins. Let’s have Kevin Plawecki [13] bunt! Let’s blow out Jeurys Familia [14]‘s arm! MAKE IT STOP!

5) Jon Niese [15] is pitching tomorrow, so best not to get too familiar with the NL East penthouse. I’d recommend the sleeping bag and some takeout Chinese.

It’s true that the first three things are real problems, while the fourth one is more of an annoyance and the fifth point is just me being a dick. But these aren’t new problems and we’re in first place.

The Wilpons’ financial situation can’t be affected by anything we do, so there’s no sense letting it wreck a good thing. Wilmer Flores [16] has kept hitting while looking less shaky in the field, Michael Cuddyer [17]‘s been better, and tonight’s win was keyed by a breakout game for John Mayberry [18] Jr., who was starting to get Chris Young [19]‘s hate mail. Herrera and d’Arnaud played in rehab games tonight, Blevins and Mejia are getting closer, and Sean Gilmartin [20] and Erik Goeddel [21] have stepped up nicely with Black and Parnell slow to return.

I know optimism is an odd look for Mets fans, but my goodness, you could even make the case that the Mets have weathered a shit-ton of injuries, growing pains and buzzard’s luck and are in first place on June 5, an unlikely scenario that leaves them rather well positioned should renewed health, continued player development and better fortune be in the cards.

And, of course, you’re as good as tomorrow’s starting pitcher. That’s not great news given whatever’s wrong with Niese, but hey, first game of the rest of his season, and most days the Mets throw a pretty formidable starter out there. That’s the strength upon which most baseball success is built, and the Mets have an enviable amount of that strength. (With more on the way.)

So let’s try this again. The Mets rolled into Phoenix tonight to face the Diamondbacks, who score the most runs in the league. They looked shaky early, with Matt Harvey [22] struggling with his slider and Diamondback outfielders running down Met drive after Met drive. But Harvey turned to his curveball and held Arizona in check, the Mets got big nights from Kevin Plawecki and Mayberry, and OH MY GOODNESS LOOK WHO’S NO. 1?

On June 5th, no less.

Now doesn’t that feel better?