One week ago today, I set a trend. I had just finished writing a recap of a game I didn’t particularly care about, and was looking forward to the thought of not having to push myself through recaps of meaningless, monotonous games anymore (at least until next year). The games are boring, and they don’t mean anything. But they still had to play them, and I couldn’t wait for them not to have to play them anymore. So I finished the piece, took a big sigh, and expressed my apathy, and my anticipation for the end of this nightmare of a season in the headline.
“Only Ten More of These To Go,” I wrote. Apparently, it was the first thing I’ve ever done worth copying, because the five game recaps since then have followed suit with their headlines, going in descending order, and now we’re at three.
But this time, I am overcome not by indifference, but instead by a strange sadness.
Now, I’m not upset because because I’m going to miss this season. God knows I’m not going to miss this season. No, my sadness stems from the same reason the Mets drew their largest weeknight crowd last night since the Subway Series in August. It was the reason the cheers sounded a little louder than they usually did. It was the reason fans chanted for a manger they’ve criticized nearly every day for years.
No matter how much you think you want something to end, sometimes you aren’t actually prepared for it to end. And when it does end, a sort of sympathy grows, and it’s usually followed by a realization; a kind of a “Hey wait, I actually still like these guys!” type of moment. We’ve spent the last 159 games in a perpetual state of anger at this team, but last night, the fans didn’t seem angry. They seemed supportive. When you go through a long, rough road with a team, you don’t realize until the end of that road how much you still appreciate them. This was the last chance for Mets fans to show their appreciation, and cheer on their favorite team at home one last time this year. So they took advantage of it, they savored their last game at Citi Field in 2017, and they made the most of it.
Those players out there went through this turbulent season with us. They wish it worked out better, too. We had the ability to turn our TV off or change the channel, but they didn’t. And they did their best. So we thank them for their efforts, and send them on their way, with one common goal in mind:
Inside the clubhouse pic.twitter.com/D4EaniqVBN
— Matt Ehalt (@MattEhalt) September 28, 2017
But before the players gave out treats to fans, and before SNY signed off to “Meet the Mets,” as they did their annual tradition of rolling their credits, there was an actual game that was played. Of course, it didn’t mean much, but cool stuff did happen. Robert Gsellman ended his season on a high note, tossing six innings of one-run ball, with four strikeouts. Terry Collins lauded Gsellman’s stuff in the post game, saying his pitches were moving quite a bit. Jamie Callahan, Chasen Bradford, and Paul Sewald all pitched scoreless innings in relief. Both Callahan and Bradford have looked much better in their last few appearances.
On offense, the Mets scored their first run in the fourth on an error by Dansby Swanson, and then scored two more on a Travis d’Arnaud RBI single in the fifth. The Mets led 3-1 at that point, and kept that lead until the seventh, when Dom Smith crushed a three-run homer—his eighth of the season—to propel the lead out to 6-1. Later in the inning, Jose Reyes doubled in another run, and it was 7-1.
And that was the final score, as the Mets walked off the field to a standing ovation despite being 69-90, and a really, truly bad team.
OTHER NEWS OF THE DAY
The Mets apparently are leaning towards letting go of their pitching coach, Dan Warthen, come Monday. In response to this, Warthen recieved vocal support from the likes of Noah Syndergaard, Seth Lugo, and Jeurys Familia.
The Mets begin their final series of the year, as they take to Philadelphia for a three-game weekend set with the Phillies to finish it off. Matt Harvey makes his final start of 2017 against Ben Lively at 7:10 p.m.
Photo credit: Andy Marlin – USA Today Sports