To many times in sports these days superlatives become hyperbole.
So you may hear the Mets 7-6 win over the Nationals tonight go down in lore as one of the greatest games in team’s history. Maybe, but if you think about the team’s 57 years history there are bigger and greater wins.
But it’s more like the best game these Mets have played this year and a statement for the rest of the National League that the winning streak against the lower half of the league was not a feast of talent imbalance, either.
These Mets are for real.
“It felt like the playoffs with the stadium packed,’’ said Michael Conforto who had a game winning hit and lost his short in the process. “We fed off that. We’ve got to keep it going. … I think we’ve done a good job the past couple weeks of taking care of business, beating teams we know we should beat. That’s what good teams do.”
It may be the image of the shirtless Conforto, which may endure for the ages. There he was standing in the middle, with his teammates mobbing him and injured Dominic Smith chasing the outfielder on a scooter.
It doesn’t get much better that.
But you didn’t have to have Conforto lose his short to know something special is going on in Queens. The Mets are well within the Wild Card race with the Nationals playing taking a hard one on the chin tonight.
And for eight innings, it looked like the Nationals were the better club, but these Mets refused to lose. In fact, the club was able to make the Nationals look a lot like the Mets, circa the first half with their closer Sean Doolittle imploding on the mound.
You don’t have to be a National fan to know Doolittle was tough to watch as the Mets first erased a three-run lead on Todd Frazier’s homer and then walked away with the win a few batters later.
“You don’t feel you are out of a game when you are on a run like this,” Frazier said and you know what, he’s right. This team is believing in itself and believing it can win every game. The last Met team to do something like this rode Yoenis Cespedes to the World Series in 2015.
Now these guys are doing it again.
With young hungry bats, like Jeff McNeil, Pete Alonso, J.D. Davis and Conforto, the Mets now boast a pretty deep lineup. Even newly signed Joe Panik gives the Amazin’s a look that there are no easy outs from one through eight.
And with a dominate ace on the mound every day, why can’t they continue on a run like this.
Tonight’s starter Marcus Stroman braves trouble all night and his energy ignited the crowd of 39,602, who made Citi Field a very loud and tough place for an opponent to play.
“We don’t win this game if not for the fans,” said manager Mickey Callaway, who is looking like a manager of the year candidate now after almost losing his job a few months ago.
Will this end? Maybe, but it’s how the Mets react to losing, which is just as important as winning. They decided to stare it in the face at the All-Star break and now in August look like a prime October candidate.
Enjoy the ride, because it’s going to be fun at Citi the rest of the year.