Mancuso: Believe This Could Be A Miracle

It took a moment after Michael Conforto hit a walk-off single in the ninth inning Friday night. Citi Field has not been this loud since that wild card game loss to the Giants in October of 2016. Pete Alonso took the shirt off Conforto’s back as the Mets rushed out of the dugout to second base.

And the injured Dominic Smith, with his scooter and license plate that says “LGFM” took part in the celebration as the Mets with their 7-6 win pulled off their seventh straight win.

The Mets, with their 14-1 run, don’t want to lose. Their 14th win in  15 games, is now a memorable one. Because this was also a comeback win against the Washington Nationals, a test they and their fans have been waiting for.

With two more this weekend, expect Citi Field to be just as loud and lively as it was on Friday night. The Mets are real and something special can be said in this 50th anniversary year of  that Amazing championship year of 1969.

Did someone say Miracles can happen? They revisited that memorable year of 1969 last month at Citi Field. The players got a message from Ed Kranepool, a 1969 hero, when the Mets were struggling. He said to go out and have another Miracle.

Friday night was a miracle. Trailing 6-3, they rallied off Nationals’ closer Sean Doolittle. Todd Frazier hit a Doolittle fastball down the left field line and tied the game with a three-run homer. Then with runners on, Conforto, with an RBI single to left, got the Miracle to continue.

“You don’t feel like you’re out of a game when you’re on a run like this,” Frazier said. “You’ve got Dom rolling out there with his wheelie or whatever, his wheelchair. I don’t know what you call it. You don’t see it when you’re losing.” 

But the Mets are not losing. Miracle or not, they are getting contributions everywhere in the lineup, the starting pitching, and the bullpen. They are beating the teams they have too, so for now throw away the thought about this Mets streak being attributed to wins over the horrible Marlins, the rebuilding White Sox and Pirates.

They are real. They believe.  A Miracle happening in front of our eyes,  as they remain a half game from the second wild card. A series win or sweep, the Mets are atop the wild card standings and then head to Atlanta to face the division leading Braves.

“When guys shirts come off, it’s probably a pretty good day, so that was a good one,” said manager Mickey Callaway. 

Marcus Stroman on the mound, he started the build up in his Citi Field debut. He wasn’t at his best, but 9 strikeouts  seven in the first three innings, that pumped up attitude had those 39,602 fans thinking about a Miracle.

 Stroman, the new kid on the block is feeling the excitement. Think about it. The trade that got him here when  Jason Vargas is shipped to Philadelphia, and the native Long Islander is home,  contending on the mound to get his team to a postseason.

The streak got better with his addition at the trade deadline. He ran from the clubhouse to the dugout in his boxer shorts after the Frazier home run.

“The crowd brought it,” Stroman said.”I don’t think they realize how much we feed off each other and how much that kind of gets us going.” 

And the Mets made Stephen Strasburg work. Winning teams will do that to an elite pitcher. Amed Rosario collected multiple hits for the fifth time in his last 10 games. Pete Alonso, before he took the shirt off Conforto, hit home run 38.

 Alonso  is the first Met to hit homers in four straight games since Curtis Granderson in that wild card year of 2016. And J.D. Davis hit number 13 off Strasburg, in the fourth inning as the heavyweight fight went back-and-forth that answered the three-run Nationals top of the inning. 

Mickey Callaway said, “It’s outstanding. I think that they believe in something and they’re going after it.” The Mets are 14-1 in their last 15 games and Friday night was a playoff atmosphere as this tight group believe a Miracle is possible.

Newcomer, Joe Panik, acquired earlier in the day, got a hit. The way this is going, it won’t be long for him to be a contributor.

They believe. So do the fans. And why not if this Amazing streak continues with two seven game winning streaks during this span. The test has come and the Mets are real.

Who would have said that three weeks ago? Saturday night it’s Noah Sydnergaard and Sunday afternoon it’s Jacob deGrom on the mound.

It could be anyone now in this Mets lineup. They believe. Even as Dominic Smith continues to be the cheerleader recuperating from a stress fracture to the left foot ,and they believe he will be back on the field sooner than expected.

 “We do it for the fans, we do it for each other,”Conforto said. All they can do is continue to believe and look at a possible Miracle that continued Friday night at Citi Field. 

Comment: [email protected]  Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso

About the Author

Rich Mancuso

Rich Mancuso is a regular contributor at NY Sports Day, covering countless New York Mets, Yankees, and MLB teams along with some of the greatest boxing matches over the years. He is an award winning sports journalist and previously worked for The Associated Press, New York Daily News, Gannett, and, in a career that spans almost 40 years.

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