28.9.05

Mets Are Eliminated AND Lift Braves To NL East Title

It is perhaps fitting that the Mets won on the night they were finally mathemetically eliminated from the playoffs.

After a very untimely losing slump at the beginning of the month which saw their own postseason aspirations bagged, bound and gutted, the Mets were finally "officially" and "mathematically" eliminated from the 2005 playoffs last night when the Houston Astros defeated the St Louis Cardinals.

Nonetheless, they were perhaps not "philosophically" eliminated because the Mets, following their 3-2 victory in Philadelphia last night have virtually eliminated the Phillies from the wildcard chase and virtually vaulted the Houston Astros into the playoffs instead, appear to have been on some sort of secret crusade to make sure that none of their NL East brethren rode into the 2005 postseason on the NL Wildcard either.

Of course, by defeating the Phillies, the irony doesn't get any thicker than this: The Mets Handed The Braves The NL East.

That's right, lads. Our victory over the Phillies let the Braves clinch the NL East. Chew on that one awhile.

In an odd season that began with five losses and then six victories, the Mets have proven yet again that they are if nothing else, a team of extremes, now having knotted their fifth victory in a row and eight of their last nine, nine of their last eleven, all after a miserable but crucially crippling road trip during which they lost eight of ten games.

We're getting signals from Willie's substation on the moon that even though they had their spirits broken two weeks ago, the Mets are "proving" that they aren't quitters. Well, that's a comfort and an improvement over Art Howe-led teams. They aren't quitters.

Perhaps it's just a little too early to assess the importance of this because right now it feels that whilst they might not be quitters, they are most certainly chokers and regardless of whether or not they are quitters, whether or not we measure our esteem by little moral victories like that rather than victories on the road in the heat of the playoff race, the bottom line remains that the Mets are not in the playoffs either.

Oh yes, why be such a spoiled sport, right?

Hey, look kids, the Mets are great at winning games that don't matter. Hey kids, let's go to Shea today and watch the Mets play for.....Pride.

It's too early and the disappointment still too cutting to sit back with our feet up on the coffee table, picking our teeth with one meaningless victory after another and congratulating ourselves for knocking out the Marlins, Nats and Phillies from the playoffs too.

Let's not forget: we knocked ourselves from the playoffs as well and whilst the scorched earth policy might play well for the kids back in Queens when Willie's season comes up for review, the code word for 2005 was inconsistency.

They Mets had 9 streaks of three or more consecutive losses this season and 12 streaks of three or more consecutive victories.

When the season is measured in the winter months, we can examine how that compares with other teams but from here on the ground, it felt like being tied to fence post: every time they jumped to a start, the length of rope ended and yanked them right back to where they began from.


The Man in the dirt is the suddenly indominable Jose Reyes

And last night, still not mathemetically eliminated, the Mets tossed Victor Zambrano in lieu of Pedro, dog food in lieu of filet mignon. Somehow the Mets managed a victory anyway last night and on Zambrano, I'll let the NYT description suffice:

"Zambrano delivered one of his typical erratic performances. It was as if he were striving to fill in every statistical category on his pitching line."

Perhaps we deserve Victor Zambrano who can finally, trepidly step out of the shadow of Scott Kazmir who last night struck out seven, upping his total to 174 and setting the Tampa Bay single-season strikeout record while simultaneously helping the Devil Rays defeat the streaking Indians and picking up his 10th victory of the season with a six-inning, four-hit, one-run performance that perhaps in a nod to Zambrano, included five walks.


Kazmir: He's No Victor Zambrano - During the month of September, Kazmir is 3-0 with a 1.71 ERA in five starts. Zambrano is getting spot starts out of the bullpen.

So pretty much everything rotten that could have happened last night, happened.

1. Astros won, eliminating the last tiny little hope we'd secretly housed about the playoffs.
2. Braves won and we beat Phillies which means WE helped the Braves win their 10 millionth consecutive NL East title.
3. Victor Zambrano pitched less than five innings of erratic baseball whilst the man we traded to get him set his franchise's single season strikeout record.

Well done on a dying season.

I'll see what I can do in the interim about getting excited at the chance of the Mets catching the Phillies and finishing in second place.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

You could always take heart if the Astros eliminate the Braves from the playoffs, couldn't you?

Metstradamus said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Metstradamus said...

Don't forget that Kazmir beating Cleveland helps the Yankees ensure a playoff spot.

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