New York Mets: A playoff atmosphere has arrived in Flushing
By Tim Boyle
The MLB playoffs don’t begin for almost two for months yet the atmosphere of New York Mets home games already feel like the postseason has arrived.
I’m trying not to use the p-word when it comes to the New York Mets. Whether your preferred choice is playoffs or postseason, it’s a word we have to use as little as possible until at least September. Why jinx it?
However, it’s still worth noting how the Mets have already begun their unofficial playoff run. It all started this past Friday at Citi Field with an electric atmosphere in one of the season’s best games yet.
Marcus Stroman may not have been brilliant, but he did fan nine Washington Nationals in the no-decision. Though all hope looked lost until the ninth inning, a three-run home run by Todd Frazier tied things up.
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Later in the inning, with two outs, Michael Conforto knocked in the winning run with a single. In what could have been a game that slipped away from some bad decisions by the manager in handling his bullpen, the Mets bats came up clutch and left the field victorious.
Games like this have been few in recent years. In particular, August has been barren. The last two years featured very little in terms of optimism.
Last year’s August was all about the positive play from a multitude of players and how it was a positive sign of things to come. Plenty of those performances didn’t carry over into the first half of 2019, but fortunately, something has clicked with this team again after the All-Star Break.
The difference is the culture around this ball club. While the 2019 season has had its share of negativity, it seems like those moments have helped this team rally together. Even the Jason Vargas incident with a reporter was allegedly in defense of manager Mickey Callaway. All of the negative with Noah Syndergaard away from the field was about his desire to win and stay in New York.
The Mets are the real deal. There’s no question about. For much of 2019, believers said this team was better than their record showed. A historically bad bullpen, some key injuries, and a poorly constructed roster all played a big part in early-season struggles.
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Excuses are now gone. The unofficial playoffs have arrived. It’s time for this team to play like every game counts because it does.