Ah, the perils of being a Met fan these days. I admit to watching the entire game unfold yesterday with a huge sense of foreboding, just waiting for something to go wrong. That's what this team has done to us in 2008, save for a few glorious weeks when the team caught fire and got itself back into the NL East race. Adminttedly, after Carlos Beltran tied the game with one swing, the hope crept back in. It should have been expected, to watch the bullpen allow back-to-back homers in the 8th (just as Ryan Braun's 2 run jack put the Brewers ahead), and add a final element of urgency to the last six outs. Not agood sign, since this team seemed incapable of rising up to pressure all season.
I said out loud during the game that this team never, ever, makes it easy, either on itself or it's fans. It's been this way for well, forever. Sunday would be no different, and true to form the boys from Flushing managed to get two men on with two out with the most clutch player on the team coming up. As soon as the ball left Carols Delgado's bat, In jumped and yelled "He GOT IT!" as he smashed a missile to left center, which, died on the warning track. That was pretty much all she wrote, although I did find some optimism creeping up in the 9th after a two out walk when I quietly piped up "This is the same situation as Game 6, right?"
The bottom line is simply this team really didn't deserve to advance. As it was last year, the fate of the post-season berth was in their hands, and they let it slip away. Thye took no momentum from the heroic performance of Johan Santana on Saturday, only musterd 5 runs in three must win games, and looked like a team afraid. Can that be fixed? I don't know. Murmurings on talk radio about breaking up the core (trading Wright? Reyes? Are you nuts?) ring hollow. Throwing a ton of desperation money at Manny Ramirez and/or KRod seems almost inevitable. Not winning in 2009, with an even bigger payroll and a shiny new ballpark will further plumb the fanbase into the depths.
So, it ends again, only this time with the quite surreal ritual closing ceremonies for beloved Shea Stadium. The event was classy, but the stench of what took place hung over the whole thing, which was a risk the organization was willing to risk from the outset. Goodbye, Shea. It was time for you to go. Congratulations Phillies and Brewers.