With one mighty swing David Wright typified the entire Mets season: so close, yet so far away.
What is it about this team that they just can't seem to get the job done when they absolutely need to? Sure, with closer Billy Wagner out for the season that changes the landscape a little bit. However many woes can be attributed to the bullpen, that doesn't excuse stranding seven runners in the last three innings.
We won't even mention that they had runners on third base with no one out in each of those innings as well.
Playoff baseball is not won on bases loaded walks, unless you're the 1999 Atlanta Braves (Thank you Kenny Rogers). It is nothing short of absolutely mystifying why a team with so many talented bats could not come up with a big hit when they needed it most.
Especially in the ninth.
LF Daniel Murphy led off the inning with a triple to right- center field. More than enough reason to be enthusiastic with Wright, Carlos Delgado, and Carlos Beltran coming up behind him, right?
Wrong. Wright swung at ball four to strike out. Delgado and Beltran were walked to load the bases before RF Ryan Church grounded out to second and C Ramon Castro struck out on three pitches.
In the top of the 10th, de facto closer Luis Ayala trotted out and promptly gave up three runs to hammer the stake through the hearts of Mets fans everywhere. The last two came on Aramis Ramierz's shot to left.
For all the early season drama and controversy involving an underachieving team and a manager fired in the twilight after a win, the Mets had played a solid second half of the season.
The fact of the matter is that for all their scratching and clawing, they are coming up short at the time when good clubs can take care of business. They are exposing this hot second half as nothing more than a ruse. Smoke and mirrors performed by a master magician who leaves you scratching your head and wondering what it was you just watched.
The Mets are not a playoff caliber team. They've got the talent on paper, but based on what we're seeing they have no business entertaining any thoughts of post-season success.
If hitting and defense wins games and pitching wins championships, the Mets are 1-for-3. That might get you into the Hall of Fame, but it definitely won't get you far in October.