Tonight was special. In the bottom of the 5th when Oliver Perez started melting down, I changed the channel because it was too brutal to watch. I expected to turn back and see the Mets down 5 or 6 to 3. But the Angels had only plated 3 runs. Ollie had melted down, but he hadn't completely evaporated like that silver dude at the end of Terminator 2.
Back in 2005, I attended the Marlon Anderson/Cliff Floyd game against the Angels at Shea. For those who don't remember, Marlon hit an inside the parker off K-Rod to tie up it, before the Mets fell behind again. In the next half inning, Cliffy had 2 strikes on him before hitting a walkoff. It was the greatest Mets game I ever attended in person. That game was in the back of my mind as the Mets' bullpen kept the Angels off the board through the bottom of the 8th. Frankie Rodriguez is a freak of nature, but I sensed that the Mets had a chance.
With 1 out, Reyes swung at some offspeed stuff in the dirt, but was still able to Ray Knight one over the second baseman's head and advance to 2nd on a pitch in the dirt. Then Wright came through. Then Easley gave us a moment right out of early 2007, before all the negativity started to set in. As Wagner trotted it and proceeded to set down the Angels in order, I kept muttering to myself: "Come on Billy, please God (and I don't even go to Church), one more, please."
When Torii Hunter swung through strike 3 for the 3rd out, I screamed and started clapping like a maniac. I then sat back for a second before uttering one word...
I didn't say it because I was thinking of the Mets' nickname. It just came out. It came out because that's exactly what this win was, and I said it because I still feel that it is exactly what this season can be.
Ollie bent, but didn't completely break.
Reyes responded to Manuel, in a big way.
The bullpen was lights out.
Jose hung in there in the 9th.
David brought him in.
Damion sent us home.
Along the way, David Wright made an absolutely ridiculous barehanded play on a soft chopper up the line, followed by an off balance throw to nab Kendrick to lead off the 9th.
Earlier today on WFAN, Chris "Mad Dog" Russo was bellowing to all who could hear that Shea Stadium would be empty in a few weeks. That if the Mets didn't turn it around (and he kept repeating that they were soft, had no fight), Shea would be a ghost town. I just smiled while he was saying it, smiled as the rest of the media kept taking shits all over the Mets all day.
After the biggest win of the year, the Mets now sit FOUR games behind the Phillies in the loss column. Through this storm, they took 2 out of 3 from the Texas Rangers, who had the best offense in basball. They went to Anaheim, and took 2 out of 3 from the Angels, who lead their Division. The joy of tonight can go straight to hell in the thin air of Colorado, but I don't think it will. For the first time this season, I'm not waiting for the other shoe to drop.