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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Just when you want in, they push you right back out


The Nationals celebrate a Carter Kieboom game-winner against the 69-69 Mets, who are nothing if not upside down.
Photo: Getty Images

In early 2005, a California-based rock group named Audioslave released a song titled “Be Yourself,” which became the anthem that the band is perhaps most famous for many years later.

The chorus, in particular, is what resonates with people, even in 2021, featuring the famous line: “To be yourself is all that you can do.”

And, perhaps, that’s how we should look at the 2021 New York Mets. All they could do is be themselves, so there isn’t a wonder why this season has happened the way it has, because if you closely follow the organization, you know that this is all how it goes down.

If you had to guess what Major League Baseball team would be alone in first place of their division for three-straight months (May 9 through August 6 in this case) only to embark on a 6-15 win/loss stretch as the team chasing them won nine consecutive games to pass them, you’d say that happened to the Mets. And you’d be right, because it has and it is. They dropped as low as 62-67 after losing to the Washington Nationals on August 27 … more on the Nationals in a minute.

But from then through September 5, the Mets rose from the dead, winning six straight games before losing 4-3 to the Nationals on Saturday the 4th, but responded with a victory on Sunday the 5th. Yesterday, just 3.5 games behind in the NL East after being 8.0 games back while 62-67, the Mets had a shot to make it four wins in five games over the Nationals in a series extended due to a Saturday doubleheader. It also would’ve marked the Mets winning 8-of-9.

The Mets brought in a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the ninth. If you watched, you know what happened, and if you didn’t, you know where this is going. Edwin Díaz came up for the save opportunity. He blew his last one on Friday, but luckily, the Mets still won. First up, Alcides Escobar: Walk. Juan Soto? Oh shit … fly out! Whew! Josh Bell? Walk. Runners on first and second with just one out. A double play ends the game. C’mon Edwin. Up comes Andrew Stevenson. Crack! Line drive to right field drops in for a single. Escobar scores and Bell makes it to third. A second consecutive blown save and it’s now 3-3. Oh, God. But wait, there’s more. Carter Kieboom. Bang! Single. Bell comes home. Mets lose 4-3; game over. The inning fell apart like a crunchy Nature Valley bar.

Díaz now has 17 blown saves in three seasons with the Mets. The second was shortened to 60 games due to COVID and this third one still has 24 games left.

The Mets, man. The Mets. Being themselves as only they could be. And, for good measure, what’s the Mets record? That’s right: 69-69. This shit writes itself. Just when you want in, they push you right back out. But hey, they’re just 4.0 games away from first place … anything is possible, right?

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