It's possible, just possible, that the Mets are having a cruddy homestand so they can play a greater number of meaningful September games. I mean, it's been so long, they need more practice at this whole thing. That way, their players can claim to be more 'battle-tested', there will be greater fan interest until the end of the regular season, and hence more revenue, which can then be reinvested in the offseason.
Well, if this is the plan, it worked to perfection last night. David Wright energized the dugout and crowd with a turn-back-the-clock drive over the right-center field fence for a 1-0 lead. Minutes later, at the '47 Shop in right field, a David Wright t-shirt was purchased along with a full-price ladies' slouch cap featuring a bedazzled Mets logo. Coincidence? You make the call.
Logan Verrett did his part in the ruse, cruising through the first four innings, keeping Atlanta off balance with a well-located assortment of offerings, seemingly augmenting his case for postseason roster consideration, while at the same time keeping Shake Shack lines long, since nothing exciting was taking place on the field.
Then, the fifth inning happened. A 3-2 change-up to Jace Peterson caught too much plate and was sent into orbit. An infield hit by Michael Bourn, a sac bunt, and an intentional walk to Nick Markakis brought up Hector Olivera. At least we know Kevin Plawecki isn't in on the plot; he was set up inside as Verrett served up a flat, outer-half 90 MPH gopher ball and suddenly New York was staring over the fence at a 4-1 hole, and at the bottom of their beer cups. This helped keep the alcohol sales pumping before last call.
The Mets' propensity for late-game magic of late kept the fans around for the bottom of the eighth, when they hinted at a comeback. Curtis Granderson led off the eighth with a walk, and Wright again turned in a picture-perfect stroke, lining a single to right-center. Suddenly the Mets were in business. They got the bases loaded with one out, and slyly traded an out for a run on a Michael Cuddyer sacrifice fly. With chants of "Wil-mer Flor-es" hanging in the air, the young infielder with a flair for the dramatic made weak contact for a routine groundout to end the apparent threat. Only minutes before, stadium vendors had run out of Cracker Jack—both with, and without, peanuts.
That meant it was time to bring in the struggling Tyler Clippard, who has given up runs in five of his last eight appearances, and now has a September ERA of 7.59 after giving up two more runs in this one.
If nothing else, this game made regular season Mets home games even more scarce, which according to basic economics, should drive up demand.
Don't worry, Mets fans. I have a feeling things are in good hands.