Buck Showalter NY Mets
Brad Penner | USA TODAY Sports

The Mets showed signs of life this past weekend, taking two of three from the Giants.

Not that anyone should get excited, though. The less-than-Amazins have done this plenty of other times throughout this disastrous season. And it has never amounted to anything. It will likely be more of the same again, too.

But … if you are a hopeless optimistic, this is the fork in the road. The Mets’ witching hour has arrived. They have one final window to save the season — their next nine games.

Three games at the NL West-leading Diamondbacks starting Tuesday, three games at the equally-disappointing Padres this weekend, followed by the All-Star break, followed by three at home against the Dodgers the following weekend.

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Let’s get crazy and say the Mets manage to win six of nine. That would put them at 44-49 headed into a July 17 off day. We’ll even take 5-4 and a 43-50 record. And then …

• Three games against the White Sox
• Three games at the Red Sox
• Two Subway Series games at the Yankees
• Four games against the Nationals
• Three games at the Royals

That adds up to 15 games (seven at home, nine in the city) against clubs that are a combined 52 games under .500 as of Monday morning. If the Mets can make a little headway in the next nine games, they have a chance to make a run. The goal should be getting to .500 after the first weekend in August. And while seven games with the Braves awaits them next month, they will also get 10 against the Cardinals, Cubs and Pirates.

It will not be easy. This is all a hell of a lot of work to earn nothing more than a chance at meaningful game in September. And the Mets have done absolutely nothing to give anyone a reason to believe they have it in them. But if they do, the final moment to put it together has arrived.

James Kratch can be reached at james.kratch@xlmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @jameskratch.

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.