The Mets went from the ultimate high of sweeping the Subway Series to the disappointment of giving the Miami Marlins just their fourteenth win of the season. The Mets have not had many highs this season, or even for the past few seasons, but the struggle will only make future successes sweeter.
One of the best parts of this week’s sweep was the surprise and shock of it. Mets fans know what is was like to be on the other side of a rough series so it is easy to enjoy the moments that we can enjoy. Then the games like tonight’s, where the Mets look mostly dead and lose to one of the worst teams in baseball, are right there to remind fans the Mets still have a lot of work to do.
It is certainly a disappointing feeling, but it is a feature of baseball that doesn’t show up as clearly in any other sport. The long schedule and lack of salary cap give teams lots of chances to find success, but also make it easy for teams to fall back to Earth quickly. The Mets have been on quite the roller-coaster ride and are a prime example of baseball’s humbling experience.
Going back to 2006 the Mets have never let their fans get too optimistic. The end of the NLCS revealed a flaw in the bullpen that was the downfall of the team in 2007. Just when it looked like the Mets were going to be good again there was the catch and they just weren’t quite there yet. The Mets still haven’t come back from the bullpen meltdowns, and, as a fan, I still haven’t trusted a bullpen since that collapse.
The Mets were humbled once again in 2009 when they were a preseason pick to go to the World Series. As a reminder to everyone who planned the parade in March that the games have to be played before a winner is declared, they lost most of the roster to injuries that even lead them to rely on Mike Pelfrey in the front of the rotation.
Throughout the last few years Jason Bay, J.J. Putz, Francisco Rodriguez, and Frank Francisco have been big names that were meant to save this organization and bring years of success. Each time the excitement surrounding the players was quickly squashed, and fans were left to wait for the next signs of promise. Even Johan Santana has been humbled by baseball as he couldn’t finish the season in which he threw a no-hitter.
The Mets seem poised to find some success in the coming years. It will just be important to remember how many trying years the Mets went through before the success. It is hard to figure out just how optimistic to be about any baseball season. Every fan has felt silly for celebrating a contract that turns into a monstrosity, or a season that ends in collapse. But fans also feel silly for not enjoying the few good moments they end up seeing.
Mets fans have learned to be cautious about any optimism because with the Mets, for everything that lifts the team up there are three other things dragging it down.
Baseball is fickle, and the Mets are one of the most glaring examples of that.