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You Must Be Within Four Games of .500 to Ride This Ride

So in the end, after all the Sturming and Dranging, the Mets did nothing else. Noah Syndergaard [1] stayed (and celebrated with a fairly hilarious bit of guerrilla Twitter video [2]). Zack Wheeler [3] stayed. Edwin Diaz [4] stayed. Even Todd Frazier [5] stayed. Prospects of whatever pedigree did not arrive. Cash considerations were not considered. Former college roommates of owners’ children remained other organizations’ roster fillers.

It was weird and confusing, which is to say very Metsian, but I found myself happy.

Happy because I think Syndergaard and Wheeler are critical pieces of any success this franchise might have with its current corps, but I’ve covered that [6]. Happy because Marcus Stroman [7] is an upgrade over Jason Vargas [8] professionally and personally. Happy because the Mets have accidentally fallen into good luck before through their own deadline-day misadventures, and who’s to say that absolutely, positively couldn’t happen again?

And happy because, despite their long list of deep flaws and serial unreliability, I kind of like this team. They’re collectively a shaggy mutt who’s indifferently housebroken and keeps tearing up the furniture, but an endearing one for all that.

Anyway, the no doubt weary Mets then went out and played a singularly bonkers game [9] against the White Sox, one that needed one of those signs spelling out height restrictions and advising you not to ride if you’ve undergone major surgery, are pregnant, or have any sense of self-preservation.

I mean honestly, this game had everything.

Early on there was a weirdo replay review that seemed like a certain win for the Mets but was disallowed by Chelsea, proving that Angel Hernandez doesn’t even need to be in the same time zone to fuck up a call, which led to the Mets not having a challenge later when they needed it.

There was Justin Wilson [10] giving up a shot up the middle, which hit the second-base umpire, allowing White Sox to wheel around and score while Wilson looked skyward and protested the grotesque unfairness of it all, except neither he nor I nor probably most people watching had understood the rule, and the White Sox weren’t allowed to score after all because it had hit the umpire, which was a big break for the Mets because no way was Robinson Cano [11] going to make that play, which led to the White Sox looking skyward and protesting the grotesque unfairness of it all, which they were right about but oh well too bad, because Wilson then got out of it.

There was J.D. Davis [12] hitting what looked like a home run into the right-field corner and then looked like a double that bounced off the chalk in the right-field corner and then was called a foul ball but nobody could tell if that was correct or not because for some unfathomable reason the right-field foul line stopped about two feet short of the wall. The umpires got together and stuck with the foul-ball ruling, which I just shrugged about, because what the hell do you do when part of the stupid foul line has been hauled off by gremlins? And then Davis hit a single up the middle, just to have a hit as far from potentially missing foul lines as possible, which is one of many things in baseball that I suspect was even harder than it looked.

There was Jacob deGrom [13] looking electric and outstanding and wonderful and getting stuck with a no-decision, except wait a minute that isn’t bonkers at all except on a cosmic level, because it happens to Jake all the goddamn time.

There was Cano actually getting a big hit, and Frazier getting a big hit about five and a half hours after some dumb blogger lamented that he was still on the team, and Michael Conforto [14] getting a really big hit, and all those hits were important because Mickey Callaway [15] has never been one to assume that a stove that was hot the last 392,455 times will be hot again this time and so why not bring Diaz in to close?

And Diaz was … OKish? I mean, yeah, he gave up a home run, which is kind of not even OKish for a closer, but if you narrow your eyes a bit, or all right a lot, you’d see that the slider was actually sliding and he mixed his pitches well, and if you have a cushion you can challenge hitters and so, you know, baby steps.

(Still. If nothing else Seth Lugo [16] ought to close for a while, right y’all?)

Anyway, it was bonkers even with some parts that I’m sure I missed, but it was actually kind of fun for all that, which is not a bad way to describe the first four months of whatever this season will wind up becoming. The Mets are now three games under .500 and you shouldn’t look at the wild-card standings, even though we all know you did like two minutes after the game ended, you hopeless sucker. It’s not Ya Gotta Believe territory – you don’t want to look at what the schedule’s throwing at us in a week or so — but maybe, just maybe, it’s yaneverknow territory.