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At last, Mets are playing a meaningful summer of baseball

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ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 15: Glenn Sherlock #53, Luis Rojas #60, Wilson Ramos #40, and Amed Rosario #1 of the New York Mets shake hands following their 10-8 win over the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park on August 15, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 15: Glenn Sherlock #53, Luis Rojas #60, Wilson Ramos #40, and Amed Rosario #1 of the New York Mets shake hands following their 10-8 win over the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park on August 15, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
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The New York Mets haven’t played meaningful baseball in August since 2016. Finally, the fans are treated to a summer of games that count.

What a summer this is turning out to be for fans of the New York Mets. The team was dead in the water at the All-Star Break and a lot of people – myself included – were looking forward more to the start of football season than to watch the Mets play out the string in August and September.

And then came July 25. Like The Undertaker sitting straight up when all hope was thought lost in the ring, this team began a stretch of 15 wins in 16 games, climbing the standings right into the thick of the Wild Card race.

The Mets are playing meaningful games in late summer for the first time since 2016, though I’ll contend that the mood around #MetsTwitter has felt a lot more like the pennant-winning season the year before. Ruben Tejada is back, for goodness sake!

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For Mets fans outside of New York – well, for me at least – it is great to have the uncertainty in the last two months of the season and not just because I feel like I’m getting my money’s worth out of my MLB.TV subscription. It’s odd but also exhilarating to go into each day feeling like your team has a playoff game that night.

But at this point in the year, that’s exactly what this is for the Mets. Every win is an opportunity to get closer to a Wild Card while each loss has the potential to deal a crushing blow to fan hopes and postseason chances.

So what’s a fan to do when they’re outside of the reaches of regional sports television, beat writers at the local newspaper and coworkers exchanging “LGMs” around the water cooler? Here’s my approach to following playoff Mets baseball in August:

My day starts like it does for many other fans with a check of the standings and the late-game scores from the night before. I get my fill of Mets headlines on Rising Apple and Twitter over a cup of coffee then head to work, where I have the pleasure of hearing from Dodgers fans about how many wins they have or which guy just got called up and hit a pair of home runs.

Powering through the morning is great because first pitch is usually 4:10 p.m., which means I can tune in and hear Howie and Wayne on the radio. If the Wi-Fi is particularly strong that day then Gary, Keith, and Ron take me through my last hour of work. It’s impossible to get anything done when there’s a day game in New York.

From there, I rely on the network of Rising Apple contributors and readers to analyze the games with to get the pulse of the fans and get psyched up for the next day. It’s great to be connected with other people going through the same misery and elation each night.

It’s the uncertainty of what the day will bring that is so exciting, especially when the Mets are winning. It’s the type of feeling that enables you to lift a car in an emergency if you needed to while simultaneously wanting to throw up every time Mickey Callaway has to make any type of bullpen decision. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

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Buckle up Mets fans. It doesn’t get any more exciting or less comfortable from here on out.

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