As the late Chris Farley was wont to say, "That. Was. Awe-some."
And as Chris Walken's character 'The Continental' on SNL would say, "Wowie wow wow!"
And as Michael Corleone said in III, "Ugh -- just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!
What more can you say? The Mets did everything in their power to lose this game, yet by some act of Jebus they didn't. They overcame another iffy start by Pedro Martinez; an "Oh yea, that's why nobody wanted Ricardo Rincon" moment of clarity; Daniel Murphy bunting with two strikes in the bottom of the ninth.
How'd they do it? Well, Ryan Church finally had a good game at the plate, collecting three hits and a walk while knocking in two runs. It was his first three-hit game since coming off the disabled list at the end of August. He came into the game hitting .203/.280/.297 in September, including a woeful 0-for-5 in Wednesday night's debacle. Whatever religion you practice (or don't), there's no denying we all went to Church on Thursday, and the Mets have seen the light.
I'm not really sure what to make of Pedro Martinez at this point. I guess he sort of had his best start since returning, striking out nine batters in six-plus innings. He also allowed seven hits and five runs to a lineup that featured maybe three Cubs regulars, and was on the hook for the loss (with an assist from Rincon) until the Mets' offense bailed him out. If the Mets pull themselves together for the final series of the season and manage to squeak into the playoffs, I don't know how I feel about Pedro starting a game. I guess that's a worry for another day.
Time to break out the #15 Carlos Voltron (or Clutchtron) custom shirts, because not only did Beltran drive in the winning run for the Mets, and not only is he one of the most udnderrated superstars in baseball, but the dude is this team's MVP. He's hitting .329/.424/.646 in September (and .282/.374/.497 overall). He is a superlative baserunner and basestealer, and is one of the best gloves in the game at a premium fielding position. He's my favorite current Met, perhaps in large part because he is so underappreciated by the masses, Mets fans in particular.
The Pirates, on the other hand, are dead to me. How does it taste, Pirates? Dead to me.
The Mets remain tied with the Brewers for the Wild Card and more to within a game of the Phillies for the NL East title. Each team has three games remaining: The Mets play the Marlins at Shea, weather permitting; the Brewers take on the Cubs; the Phillies face the Nationals.