Mets are not satisfied with losing even if they can’t win every day
The Mets played an inspiring and energetic brand of baseball throughout their nine-game road trip, during which they overcame two five-run deficits, blew a six-run lead only to win anyway, and win eight of the nine games to open up a 6 1/2 game lead over the Nationals in the National League East entering play on Friday night against the Red Sox.
However, the Mets, who won in 13 innings on Thursday and didn’t get back to New York until 3:30 AM, were unable to overcome that fatigue and ineffectiveness from their bullpen, falling 6-4 to the Red Sox despite coming back to tie the game at four at getting the winning run on-base in the tenth inning.
The Mets had an opportunity to extend their lead in the division to 7 1/2 games with the Nationals losing to the Marlins in Washington, but had to settle for the 6 1/2 game lead they entered play with instead.
Call it a missed opportunity, but they’re going to lose games down the stretch of the season. It’s inevitable in this sport.
But for any cynics out there looking for similarities between the 2015 Mets and the 2007 Mets, it’s going to be difficult to find.
That’s because despite the fatigue which was apparent in their offense and the leak the bullpen sprung on Friday night, the Mets are not satisfied with losing under any circumstances.
“It’s not like knowing that [the Nationals] lost makes it any easier for us to lose this one,” captain David Wright said after the defeat on Friday night.
Newcomer Kelly Johnson is well aware of the shroud which has haunted the Mets since the infamous conclusion to the 2007 season.
“Mets fans have seen it happen to them,” Kelly Johnson told Mike Puma of the New York Post, referring to the collapse of 2007. “It happens. You just never know.”
So Johnson and his teammates are determined to take nothing for granted as they endeavor to exorcise the demons of that season and voyage towards the franchise’s first division title and playoff run in nine years.
“Even with a favorable schedule, which we’ve had and still continue to have, you still have to win those games,” Johnson continued. “That’s what the best teams generally do is win the games they are supposed to.”
With Matt Harvey exiting the game with a 2-0 lead after six innings on Friday, the Mets didn’t win one of those games they were supposed to on Friday night. The bullpen was certainly at fault, but the bats were certainly flat on Friday night against Red Sox LHP Henry Owens, who was making his fifth big league start in his career.
But the Mets certainly didn’t go down without whatever fight and energy they had in them on Friday. Trailing 6-3 in the tenth inning after Carlos Torres got shelled for three runs, the Mets pulled within two thanks to the Mets second bases loaded walk of the night to get the winning run on-base. But Yoenis Cespedes flew out to deep center field to cut the Mets rally short to end the game.
Ultimately, the Mets bats ultimately produced just one run, an RBI single from Travis d’Arnaud in the fourth inning.
Even on a day when their offense was flat and fatigued and they came up a stride short, that same hunger and determination – which hasn’t existed in that clubhouse for the better part of a decade – was very much apparent.
And Wright believes the fans deserve that quality of play even if the outcome isn’t always in the team’s favor.
“These fans deserve the type of season we are having. They deserve to root for an exciting team like this,” he said.
And as long as that brand of baseball remains apparent and the pedal remains to the metal – win or lose – the Mets could be writing a very special passage in their history books.