The Mets’ 2019 season has not exactly gone to plan, and that’s putting it lightly. Newly acquired closer Edwin Diaz has not been his dominant self of last year, one of the lone bright spots of 2018—Brandon Nimmo—has not appeared in a game since May 20, and well, the list could go on and on of things that have happened to the Mets in 2019 that have not been a positive.
If you’re like me, there have been countless times this season where you were ready to give up on them. Whether it was the inadequate bullpen, a questionable managerial decision here and there, or the never ending off-the-field drama that comes with the Mets, it seemed like it was a good idea to just throw the towel on the 2019 season and see if the team could compete in 2020.
Yet, it is now August 6, and the Mets find themselves a game above .500 for the first time since May 2 and just 2.5 games out of a Wild Card spot. They have done this thanks to a scorching hot 17-6 record since the All-Star break, in large part due to excellent starting pitching, headlined by Jacob deGrom.
The last week and half of Mets baseball has produced some of the best games since the stretch runs of 2015 and ‘16. It all started with the road trip in Chicago, and Jeff McNeil and Michael Conforto putting the Mets on top with back-to-back extra inning home runs to secure the win. That game set the tone for the road trip, as the Mets would go on to sweep the White Sox and take two out of three from the Pirates.
Then, came last night. In the first game of their doubleheader, the Mets won fairly easily in a typically brilliant Jacob deGrom start. Jeff McNeil hit a home run, deGrom helped himself out by driving in two, and the Mets reached the .500 mark after being as many as 11 games below just three weeks earlier.
If you’re reading this, I’m sure you know what happened next. In the second game of the doubleheader, the Mets’ offense was silenced after scoring two quick runs in the first inning. The Marlins had jumped out to a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the 7th, and it looked like the two teams would be splitting the doubleheader. Nothing to be ashamed of, winning both games is hard, and with one win on the day, the Mets had already moved up a little in the Wild Card standings.
But J.D. Davis had a different idea, leading off the inning with a solo shot, inching the Mets closer, making the score 4-3. After Juan Lagares and Amed Rosario were retired, it was to Scooter and the Big Man who brought Citi Field into a frenzy. Both on 3-2 counts, Michael Conforto and Pete Alonso homered in back-to-back at bats to tie the game and give the Mets the lead. Conforto’s homer was a towering shot which went all the way to the top of the Coca Cola Corner. Alonso’s homer was eerily similar to Mike Piazza’s three-run homer in 2000 to cap off a comeback against the Braves. Both bullets down the left field line, both having Mets fans across the world holding their breath it would stay fair, both causing pandemonium at Shea Stadium and Citi Field.
With the three swings of J.D. Davis, Michael Conforto, and Pete Alonso, Mets fans are starting to believe this team really can make the playoffs. There’s a certain type of feeling surrounding the Mets that doesn’t come around often. It’s a feeling of hope, euphoria, and excitement. It’s waking up still fired up from last night’s game and thinking about the Mets nonstop. It’s hearing the excitement in the calls of Gary Cohen and Howie Rose. It’s checking scores of the teams near the Mets in the Wild Card hunt and it’s circling games on your calendar that may be high stakes.
With a large number of their games remaining at home and a fairly easily schedule compared to some of their competition, the Mets are in a prime position to make this dream a reality. They can make these feelings you’re having about them even more real and even more intense. They might just pull off an awesome run to the Wild Card game, and after that, who knows, anything can happen. This is the awesome thing that makes sports so special. A belief in your team and thinking anything is possible. These next two months of Mets’ baseball promises to be the most fun fans have had since 2015 and 2016.
In the words of a Polar Bear who plays first base in Queens, LFGM.