The Mets are down, but they are not out…
Saturday night was about as miserable a loss as the Mets have had all season.
After all it’s the World Series, and the Mets were trying to build back after a deconstructive loss in Game 1 marred by poor defense and a missed opportunity to close out what looked like a win according to their blueprint.
Instead, Game 4 compounded their loss in Game 1, and put their season on the brink of ending in tormenting fashion.
Despite the poor defense, their bullpen – Jeurys Familia included – has been unable to hold two leads into the eighth and ninth inning, which might be just as shocking as the way they’ve ultimately lost two of the four games in this World Series considering they were 74-6 when leading after seven innings in 2015.
They are 1-2 in those situations in the World Series. And those two losses could ultimately lead to their undoing in 2015.
But while the Mets are down, they are not out.
Yes, the Mets will need to be the first team since the 1985 Royals to come back from a 3-1 World Series deficit to win.
Yes, only six of the 45 teams to fall down 3-1 in a World Series have come back to win.
Yes, they need to run the table, and win two games in Kansas City in order to conquer this challenge.
And yes, the Mets just have to play better than they have.
A lot better.
“We’re in a tough situation, but we’re not dead yet,” manager Terry Collins said after their brutal loss on Saturday.
Technically, that’s correct. It will take a miracle for them to recover from their 3-1 deficit against a Royals team which has done most everything better than them to this point in the World Series.
But most teams don’t have the luxury of being able to throw Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard at the opposition in an attempt to rally from the rubble of a difficult showing in the fall classic.
Of course, it starts with Harvey on Sunday night.
“Matt has to give us one of those great outings he’s capable of giving us,” Collins explained. “Each and every time we’ve had a big series, those are the three guys that we run out there, and we’ve just got to keep getting all three of them.”
If they win, it starts with deGrom on Tuesday. If they win again, it starts with Syndergaard on Wednesday, and pretty much everyone else for that matter.
But in all three cases, Collins, the Mets and the fans need their three pitching gems to shine under the spotlight, and give them the greatest performances of their lives.
No matter what though, Collins is in a tough spot. He cannot look beyond Game 5 on Sunday, but he also needs to remember he needs more than one win to survive.
Can the Mets live to see another day in 2015? That depends on them, and their ability to get outs when they need to rather than give away outs to the Royals.
But as long as there’s a game on the schedule, anything is always possible for a team which has proven to be resilient, character driven, motivated and hungry.
It’s gut check time.