The Mets went on a 10-game vacation, and along the way they invented new ways to balk, hit like crazy, forgot how to hit, staged heroic comebacks, stole bases left and right then ran the bases like the 1962 Mets, made enough errors in one game to last a month, played the greatest ninth inning ever, saw their ace will the team to victory while being the toughest player on the field, spent three days with an umpire whose neck alone weighs more than Ramon Castro, and suffered more injuries than Evel Knievel.
Did we learn anything about the Mets on this road trip? Well, maybe that they’re manic depressive. The highs were sky-high, and the lows were beyond embarrassing. And almost every member of the team is injured in some form or another.
In the first three games in San Francisco, there were come-from-behind wins, stolen bases galore, offensive explosions, and well-pitched games. They were winning in ways that were not Met-like...at least not 2007-08 Met-like. They were the mentally tough, late-inning heroes who wouldn’t be denied a victory.
Blow a 4-2 lead in the eighth inning? Who cares, we’ll come right back and win it in the ninth. Who the heck were those guys? Aren’t the Mets supposed to fold in the clutch?
Then everything fell apart with Mike Pelfrey’s three-balk weirdness on Sunday night, which can probably be blamed on Steve Phillips' inane commentary (well, I’ll blame him). The Mets moved down the road to LA, where they couldn’t catch the ball, throw the ball, run the bases, or hit the ball.
It was three games of blundering their way around a diamond as if they had never played a game of baseball before, and one player after another caught the injury bug. The trip that started so promisingly was turning into a nightmare.
It got to the point where if somebody wasn’t killed by the time the last out was made, it was a moral victory for the team.
When they headed to Fenway Park, it looked like the shorthanded Mets would pull a Roberto Duran and declare, “No mas.” But Johan Santana took the mound and wouldn’t let his team lose.
The Mets resorted to their error-prone ways behind their ace, led by poor Ramon Martinez, but Santana took on Kevin Youkilis, the Red Sox, and even had to battle his own team and refused to lose. The whining Sox were no match for the Mets pitcher.
Saturday night saw Omir Santos become a folk hero with his two-out, two-run home run in the top of the ninth off Jonathan Papelbon, and then the Mets infielders put on an amazing fielding clinic to save the game.
After the David Wright/Luis Castillo play, Papelbon stormed onto the field looking for all the world like Crazy Joe Davola. He was about to give Daniel Murphy a roundhouse kick to the head, but Country Joe West intervened and sprayed cherry Binaca into his eyes.
The Red Sox’s high-strung closer was last seen walking through the clubhouse after the game dressed as a clown with the sounds of Pagliacci blasting in the locker room.
The Mets finished the trip with a 5-5 record. They had some of their best wins of the season and some of their worst losses.
One thing we learned is that the Mets are not boring. Nothing comes easy for them, and they occasionally do things on the field you may have never seen before.
“I’m glad we got out of here alive,” stated Jerry Manuel.
Now they’re back home to face Washington. If they have enough players to field a team, that is.
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