Sunday, April 10, 2005

San Pedro Opens the Gates

Games 5 & 6 - Mets

Braves 6, Mets 3
Mets 6, Braves 1
Record: 1-5

Phew. I was a little worried they might lose every game. Pedro stepped in, went toe to toe with a thoroughly back-to-his-old-self John Smoltz, and battened down the hatch. Gale force gusts of relieved exhalation made Mets Township a very windy place this afternoon. Here's the thing, though: just as each of those painful first five losses was "just one game" to the quoted sages, so, too, was this win. And the problems that led to the Mets being the last team in baseball to notch an '05 win (by days, not hours) are still kicking around the clubhouse. A few looming injuries, at least one shaky spot in the rotation, some lineup eyesores, and a roster with all the depth of a Braves fan's commitment -- these didn't evaporate with San Pedro's heavenly outing. If the Mets don't address these woes and quickly, another five-game skid could be lurking around the corner.

Still, today is not the day to lament what's going wrong with the Mets. Today is the day for Willie Randolph to smoke his stogie, Pedro Martinez to get a much-deserved pat on the back -- and then likely say something snide and unnecessary to the Red Sox for "lowballing" him with a third world nation's GNP, and Rick Peterson to relax and keep assuring people to "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain." Today is for Carlos Beltran to know that he is the man, and for David Wright to see more reason to believe he may one day be the man. (Man, oh, man, what a bomb he hit.) Today is for us, the restless crowd, to think perhaps the ticket we're holding entitles us to entertainment better than the Gallagher equivalent we'd been witnessing for almost a week.

Tomorrow we can worry about how bad the Mets stumbled out of the gate, starting with a 1:00 game against the Astros back at Shea, but today we sit back, refreshed, and say, "Oh, yeah. That's what a win feels like."

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