McDonald: This Was The Dagger Through The Nationals Heart

(Neil Miller/Sportsday Wire)

This was a gift for all Met fans out there.

Not only did the Dark Knight get his comeuppance, the Mets came back and won the game against the Nationals, 8-7 to extend their lead to six games.

“It’s huge for us,” said manager Terry Collins. “They beat us up over the years. To come in like we did tonight it was a huge win for us.

If you stopped the Nats in their tracks yesterday, today was the dagger through their hearts.

It’s up to Jacob deGrom tomorrow to bury the body.

The Mets are doing it all cylinders right now. If one part of their game falters, then another picks it up. Matt Harvey looked ordinary out there, giving up seven earned runs over five inning and he wasn’t helped a bad hop that got by Yoenis Cespedes causing a little league Grand Slam.

But this is why these Mets are different from the past Met teams that endured the pennant race. They never, ever say die. Down 7-1 they pounded the Nat bullpen and came back against Drew Storen, who was forced to endure a tight strike zone.

“I just think it has to do with character,” manager Terry Collins said. “That’s a big value with any player. You are involved in a pennant race, you come to work early every day and you come out to play. They are fun to be around.”

And then in an act of desperation, closer Jonathan Papelbon was brought in for the eighth inning in a tied game and proceeded to give up a homer to Kirk Nieuwenhuis.

It was something so surprising that Collins even almost threw in the towel.

“I looked up and saw that we almost tied it. Cespedes comes up and hits a bases clearing double and it’s (7-6),” he said.

Give credit where credit is due. Jeff Wilpon told Sandy Alderson to go and acquire him. Cespedes isn’t an Alderson type of guy, because he doesn’t walk, but the Mets owner knew he had to do something to ignite the fan base.

Give credit to Alderson, who saw they had a championship rotation and closer, but a 4-A lineup. He went out and acquired Juan Uribe, Kelly Johnson, Tyler Clippard and promoted Michael Conforto to turn the Mets lineup into a strength.

And give credit to Collins. He held this team together. We saw him almost lose his mind this year and he’s not going to remind you of Billy Martin in the dugout, but the players love him. They never thought they were out of this and they played hard every night.

It makes the Amazin’s the story of the year. Yankee Stadium may be half full these days, but Citi Field is alive and well. With three weeks left in the season the Mets are alive, they are well and now they lead the Nationals by six games.

It’s fun to watch this team.

About the Author

Joe McDonald

Joe McDonald is the founder and former publisher of NY Sports Day. After selling to i15Media in 2020, he serves as the Editor-in-Chief and responsible for the editorial side of the publication. In the past, Joe was the managing editor of NY Sportscene magazine and assistant editor of Mets Inside Pitch. He has covered the Mets since 2004.

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