Of course, the season is coming to an end, a realization that gets hammered home by the simplest of phrases from the simplest of articles. Take this example, one plucked randomly out of a shifting multitude:
In the opener of this series with the Marlins (83-76), the Mets (88-72) lost 6-1 on Friday night to fall two games behind the NL East-leading Phillies and one behind Milwaukee in the wild-card race with two games left.
So understated, so gut-wrenchingly urgent. It's exactly for moments like these that grammarians champion the exclamation mark: Two games left! One behind! Lost! Fall!
Now read this from Yahoo's Jeff Passan:
One week ago, it was not good to be the Brewers. Actually, it was embarrassing, horrifying, emasculating and, in every manner imaginable, bad. They were doing it again. Last year, Milwaukee melted down like butter in a hot pan, fetid smell and all. And this season, the Brewers had blown a wild-card lead, watched their manager get fired with 13 games left and found themselves 2½ games behind New York for the final playoff spot.
Thanks to the Mets apparently rediscovering their choker within, Milwaukee now stands a pair of victories – or simply a win and a New York loss on Saturday – away from vindication. With five straight wins and co-ace Ben Sheets starting for the first time since leaving a game with elbow pain, it seems imminently possible, enough that the Mets bumped up Johan Santana to pitch on short rest and salvage their season.
Now: can you imagine if Johan Santana, whom the Mets acquired by giving away the farm (okay, a very insignificant portion), did lose today, with the Brewers winning and clinching the Wild Card berth? And what if -- follow this train of hypotheticals with me -- the Twins -- the TWINS, people! They were expected to win, what, 79? -- did make the playoffs? So the Twins, in a tougher league, playing in the postseason but not the Mets, who got the Twins' best pitcher before the season.
I know my last paragraph is dumbed down, but that's for my own sake: my mind can't take it. This may be written about for years to come.
We all remember Conan O'Brien's hilarious skit last year where Mr. Met goes home one night to find his wife cheating on him with the Philly Phanatic? (I'd link it, but the YouTube video's been taken down by NBC Universal, which hasn't put the video up on its own website, as you can see.) Well, even Joe Posnanski's jumped into the act to make fun of the Mets this year.
That picture to the right, by the way, was from a June game in which the mascot got attacked by a Brooklyn man. Ricky Vaughn 99 explains.
Poor, poor Mets.
POSTSCRIPT 1: jackisue of Flickr, whoever you are: you are correct, Jesus does hate the Chicago White Sox.
ED'S NOTE: I'll be on the road for 36 of the next 48 hours, so I'll be missing some very important games. Times like these make me wish TiVo were portable.