You know that old expression, “It’s better to be lucky than good?”
The Mets sure do.
Because these days they haven’t been that good, but they sure are lucky.
Case in point: The last two nights with two bad losses to the lowly Braves. They didn’t play very well, but fortune favors the foolish.
Even with a bad Tuesday and Wednesday, two more games came off the magic number thanks to the awful play from our friends in Washington. Maybe the Nats were too busy watching the coverage of the Pope to pay attention, but they had a chance to make this interesting.
Instead, we have a Magic Number of 5 with 10 games to play, proving Panic City is a July destination, not a September one.
“We didn’t play very good,” manager Terry Collins said. “We swung the bats much better tonight. We are looking at a situation where we played real well on the road, so let’s go back and get on the road, rekindle some energy on the road and finish this off.”
They are going to have to, unless the Mets want to come back home and fight the Nationals for the Division on the final weekend.
Tomorrow they are in Cincinnati for four games and then three games in Philadelphia. On paper this should be easy, but so are the Marlins and Braves. The Mets happened to win just one of three in each those series.
Understand, now that the Mets are the front runners, these teams are getting a thrill in beating them.
“We have been in that situation,” Collins said. “There’s no better feeling than getting on the plane knowing you spoiled someone else’s party. We’ve done that before.
“This is the big leagues and you can’t take anybody for granted.”
They need to get back to getting some timely hits and pitch like they are about to be eliminated, and not like the division is already won.
Maybe, just maybe, going to a couple of hitters’ havens will jolt the offense back into shape.
“These are two good hitting parks and we seem to swing pretty good in some of these parks that are more hitter friendly.”
Ok then then all is well. Ok, ok maybe not.
The good thing is the Nationals can’t get out of their own way. Jonathan Papelbon was tossed out of tonight’s game and the Nats couldn’t hold a lead against the O’s. They have one more game against Baltimore tomorrow.
Then they face the Phillies at home and the Braves in Atlanta with a makeup game against the Reds sandwiched in-between. Even if the Nats go 6-2 in the next week, then all the Mets have to do is go 3-4 to clinch the Division before Washington comes to town.
This is not impossible.
The Mets, though, have to be good as well as lucky for it to happen.
The last few days, luck was on their side.
Now it’s time to get good again.