Rip the Mets. Praise them. Do whatever.
One thing Mets fans can’t deny. Their baseball team is resilient. It has been that way for the last few years.
Last night was a great example. The Mets rallied twice, and they finally won the game when Asdrubal Cabrera hit a three-run home run in the 11th inning to give them a 9-8 victory over the Phillies at Citi Field.
Here’s what was impressive about the rally: The Mets were 0-63 when trailing after eight innings this season.
Now stats can be useless since one has nothing to do with another, but the Mets had that here we go again feeling when the Phillies took a 6-4 lead in the eighth inning on a Maikel Franco’s three-run home run.
The Mets can only take so many losses and come back. That blast from Franco had to hurt. How could it not be after they took a 4-3 lead in the seventh inning?
With one out in the ninth on a Jay Bruce strikeout and Brandon Nimmo on base, Jose Reyes hit a two-run home run off Phillies closer Jeanmar Gomez, tying the game at 6.
The Mets needed that. The stadium had so much negative energy after a Bruce strikeout that they needed someone who can create a spark. Talk about a spark.
The Mets had to finish the deal. They knew it. The Reyes’ home run would have been meaningless if they did not win this game.
Cabrera made sure Reyes’ home run would mean something when he homered to win the game.
It’s a credit to guys like Yoenis Cespedes, T.J. Rivera, Curtis Granderson, Reyes and Cabrera that the Mets are resilient when the going gets tough.
Wednesday night’s 4-3 Mets’ loss to the Braves could have defined their season. They blew a 3-0 lead and went on to lose. Ender Inciarte robbing Cespedes of a three-run game-winning home run symbolized everything that went wrong for the Mets in that game.
The Mets don’t have to use that night’s game as a reason why they fell apart this season. They have a new lease on life after Cabrera’s game-winning home run last night.
To say Wednesday night’s loss doomed the Mets is hyperbole at best. The Mets were still tied with the Cardinals and Giants for the wild-card race. They had 10 games remaining prior to last night. They could have made up for a dramatic loss by getting a dramatic win in any of the 10 games.
The Mets will hang around in the wild-card race until the final game of the season. The Cardinals are inconsistent, and the Giants bullpen has blown league-leading 29 saves. Those two teams have been the Mets’ saving grace, which is why they hung in there as much as they could despite so many injuries that crippled the team this season.
Do the Mets have enough to survive and win the wild-card race? It remains to be seen.
To sell the Mets short is foolish. They have bounced back after losses going back to last year. There’s something to be said about that. When a team is resilient, it says so much about their toughness and their ability. That’s what the Mets have showed the last two years, and that’s why they have a chance to get one of the wild-card spots.
I believe the Mets will be playing in the wild-card game in a couple of weeks. They have enough to get there. They should win their fair share of games against the Phillies (twice) and Marlins.
It isn’t going to be easy. Easy is not the Mets way.
But they will find a way somehow and someway. Last night is a good example of that.
If Mets fans can’t believe in them after last night, they are not going to believe.
There’s no question the 2007 and 2008 collapses come to mind to Mets fans, but outside of Reyes, this roster does not have players that played in those years. So what happened those years have nothing to do with what’s going on right now.
The Mets are not like their fans, which is a good thing. They are professional enough to know how to handle the rigor of a pennant race.
Whatever happens, the Mets deserve credit for making this season interesting despite so many injuries.
No one will do that, though. It’s not how this town is wired. It’s about the bottom line.
Only a playoff appearance will validate the Mets’ season.
That’s why the Mets are determined to find a way to get it done.
Count the Mets out at your own risk.