For lack of a greater phrase, let’s make one up that quintessentially applies to the 2021 New York Mets. What they’ve achieved higher than simply about any group in current reminiscence round right here, any sport, is that this:
They recurrently michaelcorleone you.
Even if you’re not an aficionado of the “Godfather” trilogy, you absolutely know what this implies. Proper in the midst of Half III, Al Pacino as Michael Corleone utters probably the most well-known of all of the traces Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola ever typed on his behalf:
“Simply once I thought I used to be out … they pull me again in!”
The Mets michaelcorleoned you early, once they had been so inept on the plate they fired their hitting coach … and by some means didn’t spin out.
They michaelcorleoned you slightly later, when each member of the projected Opening Day lineup (and some others, for good measure) hung out on the injured record — they usually not solely performed properly sufficient to scratch their method to first place enjoying the likes of Johneshwy Fargas, Khalil Lee and Wilfredo Tovar, they stayed there for 90 consecutive days.
Jacob deGrom was an unwitting one-man practitioner of michaelcorleoneism, leaving video games early and taking followers’ fears with him for a number of roller-coaster rides but at all times returning to pitch brilliantly … till finally he vanished after July 7, his every-fifth-day magic changed by every-two-week medical updates.
So … are the Mets doing it once more?
The calendar formally flipped to September on Wednesday, and the Mets celebrated as they’ve achieved extra typically than any group in baseball this yr — by not enjoying a scheduled recreation. A couple of minutes earlier than banging that recreation a day prematurely, the Mets had polished off an unbelievable doubleheader sweep of the Marlins on Tuesday. Coupled with the Braves’ misplaced three days in L.A., it decreased their deficit within the NL East to 5 video games heading into Thursday.
Which means they picked up 1 1/2 video games in a single day, Tuesday, and three 1/2 full video games in simply 5 days, and that signifies that on the finish of a month, August, during which they’d by some means at one level surrendered 12 1/2 video games to the Braves, the ultimate quantity was simply 9 1/2.
These numbers are nonetheless grim. And the Zack Scott drunk-driving arrest will solely add an extra layer of distraction to an already precipitous job.
However they appear much less grim if you happen to consider this: Beginning with Thursday’s recreation with Miami at Citi Area, the Mets had 27 video games between now and Oct. 1, once they’ll shut the season with three video games in Atlanta. At a minimal, they should shave two video games off the lead —a recreation each different week — for these video games to be related. About quarter-hour in the past that appeared like probably the most ridiculous type of pipe dream. Does it now?
There’s additionally this to consider: Atlanta is scheduled to finish a suspended recreation Sept. 24 in San Diego. They path that scheduled seven-inning recreation 5-4 within the fifth. If the Padres maintain on, that’s one other free half-game to the nice within the standings for the Mets.
Once more, that’s naked minimal. The Mets most likely must go 10-3, minimal within the 13 video games they’ve left with D.C. and Miami (whereas not going full-tuck in opposition to the Yankees, Brewers and Cardinals). The Braves get their whacks in opposition to these patsies, too. And the Phillies — who at one level misplaced 4 in a row to the ungodly dangerous D’backs — have been michaelcorleoning their followers, too. And so they have the simplest schedule of all.
A part of the issue of being pulled again in, as Michael discovered to his nice horror, is the chance this can all finish very, very badly.
(By the best way … when was a regulation handed that our two baseball groups aren’t allowed to win video games on the identical day? The final time that occurred was Aug. 22 — 12 days in the past, although it looks like 12 weeks in the past).
You’re a Mets fan, and meaning you aren’t naturally inclined for best-case eventualities. You’ve seen this group (not) hit for 132 video games. Jacob deGrom most likely isn’t strolling in that door. You’re asking for September to be an ideal storm of fine fortune. That’s a tall order. Perhaps you actually are out, for good. And perhaps that’s for one of the best.
However … are you able to be pulled again in?