And as today's 6-5 miracle showed, even when the Mets aren't playing good baseball, they're playing good baseball.
Let's face it, with the lineup that Willie Randolph put out there today, the Mets had no business winning today. None. Ruben Gotay (who let a "cramped" Jose Reyes rest) and David Newhan up the middle? Fluff Castro filling in for Paul Lo Duca? Julio Franco at third base? Jason Vargas on the hill? This was a throwaway game. A Sunday lineup designed to do nothing else but rest the troops for the Yankees series.
This was a game designed to give Jason Vargas a renewed idea about what it's like to be in the major leagues, and not necessarily to have him pitch the way he did over the first five innings.
This was a game designed for me to remind you all that former Brooklyn Cyclone Angel Pagan still has the best name in baseball history. Remember when you had Jim Gott ("Gott" meaning "God" in German) facing Tim Teufel ("Teufel" translated in German meaning "Devil"), and you had those titanic struggles between good and evil and it felt good rooting for evil? Well now you have Angel Pagan. That's an internal titanic struggle resulting in evil consequences for the Mets when boiled over.
This was a game designed, at 5-1 down in the ninth, to remind us that you can't win 'em all. Instead, it reminded us that you can win on any given day. You can win any given game where Ryan Dempster is pitching in the ninth. You can win any given game where everybody is expecting Randolph to pinch hit for Gotay in the ninth with David Wright and Jose Reyes on the bench, but instead he lets Gotay hit and he keeps the rally going with a hit to drive in the third run.
"Nice job by my A-minus boys" -Willie RandolphYou can win any given game where David Wright gets a big single in his first ever pinch hitting appearance, and any given game where Carlos Delgado...0 for 4 and a batting average closer to my weight than his...is up with the bases loaded and no shift put on him, which let that little grounder get through to the outfield to score the tying and winning runs.
Yes, you can win any given game. Three given games come this weekend. One team is hot, one team is not. I've learned that in these situations it's best to stay cautious and stay focused. They say you "throw away the records" when certain teams meet. Well, the Mets were really good at throwing away the records when their record wasn't that good. Now that the tables are turned, we need to learn to throw them away still. It isn't going to be easy to throw the records away. However, I'm thankful that the record is one game better than what it really should have been.