The Mets off-day yesterday could not have been more welcome. Battered but not beaten, it’s time to regroup and remember the feeling of a win.
In their minds, the Mets can recall those moments during the season when they held dance parties in their clubhouse after a win.
Boys being boys unwinding after playing a high-stakes game where the only thing that matters is what you do today to help your team, and “good” but non-productive at-bats mean nothing.
Faced with having an off day yesterday, some of the Mets players would rather have been like the race car driver who gets in an accident, and without hesitation, is back racing the next day.
Perhaps others spent some quiet time with their families, trying their best to be “normal” at a time when there is anything but normalcy.
Normalcy for the Mets not too long ago was when winning the norm, and every day they came to the ballpark, with only the expectation to beat their opponent any way they could, and they usually did.
It’s a game predicated on failure, where the best of the best who make it to Cooperstown having gotten there based on failing seven out of every ten plate appearances.
The Mets know that, but it gives them no consolation.
Mets players also know that fans are on edge, and a few of them have already jumped ship. Upbeat is the word, even though the words sound hollow when spoken.
For that, some of the players may also be thinking to themselves, “Damn, I just wish these next three were in DC and not at Citi Field.”
Mets: Each Handles It His Own Way
Rather than riding with teammates or being driven by a friend or family member, a few of the Mets players might opt to call for a Lyft ride to the ballpark, wanting those few minutes of solitude before beginning the day’s work.
Gradually, however, they’ll settle into the routine that gives them comfort, answering mail, signing baseballs that come in boxes, and glancing over in the direction of the usual jokesters, mimicking, for instance, something stupid like the batting stance of another Mets player.
By now, the Villars, Pillars, Guillormes, the Megills, and the Drurys are veterans of the war, along with the high-paid stars, and for the first time in what seems like forever, they are gathered as a team again.
Mets: Still The Same Team They Were A Week Ago
The feeling of looking up as opposed to looking down at your competitors is different, but it is also the same because you remember and know this is still the same Mets team that was in a reversed standing not even a week ago.
Nothing has changed. Jacob deGrom is still missing in action, and chances are, it’ll stay that way for at least another month.
Your team owner, Steve Cohen, has gone back to doing whatever it is he does, and most of the New York media is maintaining a respectful distance, knowing as the Mets realize too, the real stories will come when there are wins or losses on the board again.
Everything begins anew tonight, even with the Nationals starting pitcher Paolo Espino (3-3, 3.66), who has faced no Mets batter more than three times in his brief career.
Off to a brand new start is Carlos Carrasco, who is making his long-awaited return to the Mets, with the hope his injuries are behind him, and he can provide a needed spark to the rotation.
Mets: Entering The Lion’s Den
It remains to be seen how the Mets will be greeted tonight by the crowd at Citi Field.
In particular, the spotlight will shine on Michael Conforto, whose season-long impotence seems to have no end, and Javier Baez, who struck out five times in one game against the Phillies.
According to reports from the Mets yesterday, Baez is day to day after leaving Sunday’s game with an injury that looked like an oblique but isn’t. Baez spent part of his off-day receiving treatment at Citi Field.
I, for one, am hoping the cheers are loud and furious.
Mets: Cliches Are Wonderful
Cliches are wonderful because, as corny as they are sometimes, they always have an element of truth in them.
“There’s no use crying over spilled milk” is the one that seems appropriate for today.
“How the mighty have fallen” doesn’t work because none of the teams in the NL East come anywhere near being tagged as mighty, and the division winner, including the Mets, will likely enter the playoffs with a record of only 85 wins.
The new season has to begin with a statement against the Nationals, in which the Mets deliver a clear message that says, “It’s us again, we’re back!”.
By now, most of you know I’m not a pie in the sky dreamer, but I do (strongly) believe this thing ain’t over yet…
Here’s What Readers Are Saying…
Monica Coyle …..yes, battered but not beaten
Christopher Galagotis Get back in gear. Keep it close on the dirtbags from Philly and the Braves. Hold on for Lindor Jake and Noah and then it’s payback time
Anthony-Angela Muni Lets’ go Mets. Still believe
Margie Maher Let’s go Mets!!!. Still believe!!!
Mary Ann Grennen I’ll be watching tonight and cheering them on. I’m a Mets fan and will support them to the last out of the season.
Kenny Clarke Yes this day off was huge! Came at a great time. Now we have to put together a three-game sweep of the Nats and hope the Dodgers can help us out with Philly and Cincy can beat up the Braves. Anyone can still win this division. We all know how tough the next 2 weeks are going to be.
Arnie Wexler The next 19 games will tell it all
Steve DiTomasso Washington series will be ok. Then probably 3-10 over the next 13 after that. Maybe the Dodgers will cool off the Phillies.
Jim Walsh I will be watching as usual but it would be so much more enjoyable if they would score a few runs.
Closing Published Comments And Final Thoughts
With game time within the hour, this closes published comments.
Perhaps in the same way as the Mets players, fans have softened quite a bit and the ever-present upbeat nature has returned. And I’m pretty sure they needed no prompting from Luis Rojas, Steve Cohen, or Pete Alonso to make it happen…