Friday night was brutal. Losing a game in the bottom of the 9th is bad enough. Losing it after coming back late and then taking the lead against the best closer of all time adds salt to the wounds. But to lose a game on a dropped pop up by the second baseman – a routine play that would have sealed a Mets victory, but instead allowed the tying and winning runs score for the Yankees?
The Mets have had their share of heartbreaking losses the past few years on the way to back-to-back collapses, and have seemed to invent new ways to lose this year (missing 3rd base when scoring the go ahead run?). But that? Did that really happen? I’ve seen the replay about 10 times, and I still don’t believe it.
Oh, and this was coming off back-to-back losses to the Phillies in which the Mets had 7th inning leads, only to end up losing each in extra innings. According to many frustrated Mets fans who took to message boards in the wake of the Debacle in the Bronx, it was all over. Time to fire Omar, fire Manuel, dump half of the team. I’ll admit, I had some of the same feelings in the immediate aftermath. But then I looked at the big picture:
- It’s June.
- There are 100 games left in the season.
- Losing to the Yankees sucks, but it’s not the World Series. It’s just another game on the schedule.
- The Phillies lost as well, so the Mets actually didn’t lose any games in the standings.
- Despite a ridiculous string of injuries (Delgado, Reyes, Putz, Maine, Perez, Pagan), the Mets were just 4 games out of first place, and were over .500.
- Maybe it’s good that a loss like this happens now, instead of in September. Maybe the team can come together in the wake of a disaster like this, and be stronger for it.
There is no getting around how bad that loss was. I’m sure the Citi faithful will remind Luis Castillo when the Mets return home. But, it’s not over – not by a long shot. Are the Mets going anywhere this year? Probably not. The Mets are a very flawed team, even without the injuries. Their lineup has holes and their starting rotation is very thin (don’t count on Fernando Nieve to repeat Saturday’s performance). If they are going to get to the playoffs and make some noise, Omar is going to need to make a few deals.
What I do know that the season is not over because they lost on Friday. Things aren’t all of a sudden all better because they won today, either. It’s a long season, with many ups and downs. Friday just happened to be a big downer. Step back from that ledge, my friends.