As every Mets fan knows, all good things must come to an end eventually. It was impossible to believe that the Amazins could sustain much if any success after trading their best reliever and run producer, while losing their best starting pitcher, slugging first basemen, best run-scorer, and second-best run producer to injuries.
Yeah, it’s been that type of season… again.
But the 2011 Mets under Terry Collins have made the best of a truly impossible situation. Whether the guys on the roster started the year in Flushing or Buffalo, they have responded to their manager’s demands to play hard or else.
It’s really the only reason the Mets have survived this year as long as they have. Through 116 games, they are not really in a playoff race, but they are at the respectable .500 mark, while sitting at third place in the NL East. Considering all of their misfortunes, they have been gross overachievers.
[caption id="attachment_618" align="alignright" width="183" caption="Ruben Tejada's never say die attitude was on display on this play, in which he did not give up on a ball in the hole. He got a glove on it and fired to first while in mid-air to gun down the runner. (Photo Credit: AP Photo / Frank Franklin)"][/caption]
Their approach of attacking one game at a time has been an excellent one for a season in which they have lacked so much for so long. Because of their approach the Mets are always competitive in their games. Their tenacity really gives fans reasons to watch them play, if nothing else to experience an exciting finish.
Their last three games at home, against the Padres have been no different. In their first two, the Mets came from behind and won those games in their last at-bat. Lucas Duda drove in the game-winning run on Monday night, while Ruben Tejada forced in the difference-making go-ahead run with his bases loaded walk the next night.
The Mets enduring spirit was on display again last night in a 9-5 loss. Their starter, R.A. Dickey, left the game having retired the last 11 men he faced. But before he got on that impressive roll, he did allow five runs to score, (three earned). Before the Mets had their turn of at-bats in the bottom of the sixth, they were down 5-1. But they began to claw their way back.
Unfortunately their shallow bullpen was working against them. The bats were definitely making strides in trying to close the gap in the scoreboard and push them ahead, but the ‘pen squandered just about all of their efforts by yielding three runs as a unit last night.
In the end, the Mets came up just short. Willie Harris’ bases-loaded line drive, as the potential tying-run in a 9-5 ballgame, was not high enough to clear a leaping Logan Forsythe, and the second baseman made up for his error that loaded the bases on the previous play with his heart breaking, game-ending catch.
The Mets will try and continue to persevere when they send Jon Niese to the mound against the Padres later this afternoon. San Diego will counter with Cory Luebke as they try and salvage a draw in this four-game set.
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