The phrase “meaningful games in September” has haunted Mets fans from almost the moment owner/financial incompetent Fred Wilpon told a New York Times reporter he wanted to see them back in 2004. And yet, here we are in September 2015 and the Mets are playing meaningful games. The Mets are the talk of the city, and if you want to keep up with the conversation, we’re here to help with some footnotes on the Mets’ major storylines.
EVERYONE’S PITCHING IN
That’s actually a pun, see, because it’s not so much that everyone on the team is good, but the team’s starting pitchers have been great. Of particular note are twin hair models Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard, and Matt Harvey, all three of whom can throw a baseball 98 miles per hour and strike people out for fun. In addition to being able to pitch, Harvey and Syndergaard have comic book-themed nicknames, “The Dark Knight” and “Thor,” respectively, and deGrom managed to make news just by mentioning he might someday cut his hair.
NO MORE TEARS
Before they turned a corner, the most famous moment of the season for the Mets was when their starting shortstop Wilmer Fores found out in the middle of a game that he’d been traded, and started crying right there on the field. Making things even more confusing, then he wasn’t traded and the Mets were left to explain both why Flores didn’t get traded and why they left a crying guy on the field. It was all very bad news, but the season has to go on, and the next game Flores played, this happened:
That’s a game-winning home run in extra innings against the first place team that the Mets were chasing. Flores has become a folk hero since the non-trade, hitting .316 with a couple other game winning hits and even signed pictures of himself crying on the field.
ANIMAL FRIENDS, ASSEMBLE
Want some proof that the Mets are #blessed this season? They’ve attracted animal friends bringing joy and luck like they’re a collection of Disney princesses. First, there was the Rally Raccoon, a baby raccoon that got into the clubhouse, bringing them the kind of mojo that allowed them to go 6-2 in the days that followed. Just when you thought that was all the animal-based luck the team would have, a rogue neon yellow parakeet flew into Citi Field on August 12 and gave highly-touted trade pickup Yoenis Cespedes the power he needed to hit his first home run as a Met. Since the appearance of the paRALLYkeet, Cespedes has hit the ever-loving crap out of the baseball, with nine home runs, three doubles and two triples.
WELCOME BACK, CAPTAIN
In a situation that feels like it could only happen to the Mets, team captain David Wright went on the disabled list with a simple hamstring injury in the eighth game of the season, only for him and the team to find out he had spinal stenosis (a narrowing of the spinal column). No one knew when, or even if, Wright would be back this year, but after finally returning to action on August 24, he’s not only played well just in time for the stretch run, he hit a monster home run in his very first at-bat back from injury.
THEY’VE GOT THE POWER
Speaking of home runs, the Mets are suddenly hitting a lot of them. After suffering through an offense that was on pace to score even less runs than their comically bad 1962 team, the Mets exploded for a franchise record 45 home runs in August, including eight in one game against the Phillies. As we went over, the team could pitch, but couldn’t win because they were missing the ability to hit the baseball even a little bit well. Finding their groove on offense launched them to a six and half game lead in first place and has fans dreaming about October baseball for the first time in seven years.
Congrats, now you’re armed with some stuff to bullshit about with people at the bar if the Mets game is on, which will be more often than usual, since this is the first squad in years that seems to have the teamwork to make the dream work