From Wilmer Flores bringing the human element to MLB to Yoenis Cespedes changing a lineup, the New York Mets have something special.
By Robby Sabo
July 29, 2015.
This is the date fans of the New York Mets might point to for all of eternity as the night. That magical and shocking time infielder Wilmer Flores showed all of sports fandom that professional athletes are humans first. The night that galvanized a struggling Mets organization who couldn’t seem to get over the hump.
A night that’ll be called the turning point for a franchise, should they continue this pace past the point of legitimacy.
Both Flores and Zack Wheeler stayed Mets (to their delight), Carlos Gomez was shipped to Houston, Yoenis Cespedes was acquired by Sandy Alderson, and the club has since gone on a torrid seven-game winning streak.
Sure there was that brutal July 30 loss to the San Diego Padres in a torrential downpour, but perhaps the team needed a full 24-hours to recover from the Gomez-fiasco night.
After sweeping away the then first place Washington Nationals and cellar dwelling Miami Marlins, the Mets did something on Friday night that hasn’t ever been done in their 56-year history: winning a game by coming back from deficits in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings.
This was done against Rays in Tampa with heroes showing face all around the clubhouse – giving fans one more reason to believe that something unique and special it taking place before their very eyes.
First, Juan Uribe slammed a home run in the top of the seventh to emphatically tie the game up. Then, Daniel Murphy did the same with a tremendous at-bat in the eighth. Finally, rookie Michael Conforto and Flores lofted pitches the other way to tie the game and provide their club with the lead.
Not only do the Mets still possess the scariest starting rotation in the league, but when the lineup is called upon to make something happen, it magically goes down flawlessly.
Jerry Seinfeld, avid Mets fan, said it best after the Mets dismissal of the Nats last week:
— Jerry Seinfeld (@JerrySeinfeld) August 3, 2015
Nobody could have said it better. In fact, this feeling is spreading throughout the league beyond just Mets fans. Talk about why the Mets can’t make a deep run in October is slowing starting to progress from one publication to the next.
Couple that with a lineup suddenly equipped with professional hitters and a main centerpiece in Cespedes, the equation for October success is there.
Oftentimes sports and magic are thrown around together too carelessly. Last fall it was used on a daily basis as we watched the Kansas City Royals make their magical run to the 2015 World Series.
Did they seriously defy the odds in their run to the AL Pennant? Yes, there’s no question about it. Considering the deficit they faced in the AL Wild Card game against Jon Lester and the Oakland Athletics, only to wipe away the rest of the competition without a single loss, the run was something special.
Magic though? Absolutely. Magic is what happens when fanbases are starved to the point that frustration overrides realistic thinking, only to find out their team can actually rise from the dead.
For so long Mets fans have been stuck with the attitude that ownership won’t allow Sandy Alderson to do anything with the roster. That Bernie Madoff crippled the Wilpons to just an extent that going over $100 million in salaries would be just an impossibility.
Well, today that notion is false.
The mere fact Alderson and company brought in Uribe, Johnson, Cespedes and Tyler Clippard allowed every Mets fan to rise from their seats. It allowed hope to take hold.
Not only did the front office make every correct move, but things on the field keep mysteriously going the Mets way. Every break, decision and bounce of the ball is breaking to the boys wearing blue and orange.
Sometimes, adding just a little to a lineup makes all the difference in the world. Finally, the Mets took the advice of the fans.
Imagine David Wright and/or Michael Cuddyer make it back into the lineup and contribute? If that happens, then “fuggedaboutit.”
Mass hysteria in Kansas City is one thing. Excitement in New York is another idea all together.
Get ready Mets fans, Citi Field might crumble to the ground in two months. Not feeling a single ounce of pennant-race baseball since 2008 will do that to a stadium and fanbase.
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Mets with the comeback! NY battles back in the 9th and beats Rays, 4-3. • Jacob deGrom: 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 7 K pic.twitter.com/W7G0bfFHOq
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 8, 2015