This should have been a happy occasion.
Back in late June, we would have been looking at this final homestand of the season with nervous anticipation. The Marlins, who we all knew couldn't have been a contendah by then, were likely to be the easy pickins that they proved to be the past three games, and then the Pirates? The then-division-leading Pirates? Nah. Never would have lasted. We coulda cleaned up on them nicely- just like we should've done when I went down there on this same weekend in 2006 and, somehow, they swept us.
Tonight could've brought the historic clinch we were unable to get that year. On September 24th, the anniversary of our first-ever zeroing of a Magic Number. Instead, all the Mets have to play for the next four games is a limitation of their own Tragic Number to something not too negative- and, come Thursday, for RA to have his likely last shot at XX.
That game, I'll take as it comes. But for the next three nights, Ich Bin Ein Piratesfan.
They are a team that deserves better, in a ballpark that's been wasted for even longer than our boneyard of a new ballpark, in a city with proud histories in three professional sports. They are still barely alive in the wild card race- 6½ back with ten to play- but a more reachable goal is to have their first winning season since 1992, our year of The Worst Team Money Could Buy. Going into tonight, they are two games under .500 with those same ten to play: these four, and then two much tougher sets of three against the Reds and Braves, both at home, and for whom, by then, either or both might have nothing to play.
I'd say the Mets can at least contribute the next three nights to rebuilding Pirate confidence. Then, even with Dickey winning on Thursday, they'll be at .500 going into those final six home games, where, unlike certain people we know, they are a commanding nine games over .500 thus far.
This will clearly take some practice. Do they still chant Beat 'em Bucs! to the cadence of LGM? Is "We Are Family" still part of the family? Who are these guys, anyway?
It's scoreless as I post this, so at least my rooting interest hasn't hurt yet. We'll see how this-all holds up.