Monday, May 30, 2005

Hanging In There

Games 49 through 51 - Mets

Mets 1, Marlins 0
Mets 6, Marlins 1
Marlins 6, Mets 3
Record: 26-25

This division is tightening up nicely. Things in MetLand had started looking grim after the peach pit they swallowed in Atlanta last week, but they came right back in an equally critical division series against the Marlins and nearly swept the thing. The much-maligned (but rarely unfairly) bullpen cost the Mets the sweep, but it's still a positive vibe in the Mets' camp. They're a paltry 2.5 games back of the co-leaders -- the last-place Phils are only 4.5 back, highlighting a division that beats up on each other at every turn. See if you can follow the loop:

So far, the Braves clearly dominate the Mets (7 wins in 9 tries, which suits me like a sandpaper jock, mind you), who've beaten up the Marlins, who have stymied the Nationals, who have managed to win more than lose against the Braves. Meanwhile, for you Phillies fans, the bad news is (mostly everything about this season, including) your Phightin's don't have a winning record against anyone in the division, but the good news is twofold: (1) they did just take two of three at Turner Field over the weekend to illustrate once again that a carcass in the road can make a good speed bump, and (2) the team that they have the best W-L against thus far is the NL-best St. Louis Cardinals, "because screw you, Scotty Rolen," I guess. (They can't wait to play L.A. & J.D.)

Now that this chapter in the bloodbath known as intradivisional play has ended, the Mets should be able to find more success in the next couple of weeks, though they never do as I instruct them on such matters. Home series against Arizona, San Francisco, Houston, and Los Angeles coincide with a return to the lineup from Carlos Beltran, and this seems a fine opportunity for the Mets to put some distance between themselves and the .500 line. It would make sense. It seems logical and a reasonable expectation. Which is why it cannot happen, sadly. Like a lousy playwright whose needless, wild twists in the plot only create holes, the Mets -- at least the ones we've followed in recent times -- rarely adhere to the notion that sometimes the better team on paper should actually win.

For the record, before the ten-game stretch the Mets just completed, I (blathered on interminably but at long last) made three comments regarding the treacherous set of games. I predicted they'd win but three or four of them, called them suckbags, and decided that with only four wins I'd find myself "slowly slipping towards sad resignation." What does it say about me that I was accurate (four wins) in prognosticating the success of the Mets but way off in estimating my own reaction to that result? It means that I am losing my mind, quite clearly, but that's the least fascinating development in the Mets' season so far.

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