Twenty-one years ago, Mike Piazza was traded from the Los Angeles Dodgers to the Florida Marlins and finally to the New York Mets in a span of eight days. Three years later, I would fall in love with Piazza and the New York Mets thus beginning my longest relationship with well, anything.
At the time, I had been raised on the Atlanta Braves, the Boston Red Sox, and the “Mark McGwire era” of the St. Louis Cardinals, so becoming a fan of the New York Mets seemed a bit odd. It didn’t make sense to anyone, including my poor father who, despite loving his Braves and Sox, bought himself a Piazza jersey to match mine. Ten year old Chelsea wore that Mets jersey proud. There was just something about the New York Mets that I loved. I couldn’t explain it. And last night, I felt like a proud mother who watched her children do something extraordinary.
There are moments in baseball that stick with you. As a fan of the Mets, last night will stick in my memory for quite some time. And no, they didn’t win the World Series last night. And yes, I know they were only at .504 before the start of tonight’s game. But hear me out, last night may have changed the blueprints for the National League Wild Card. The Mets are 2.5 games behind the Phillies and the Nationals. (Both tied for first in the Wild Card.)
With the pitching woes of both St. Louis and Milwaukee, New York will need to take full advantage of this if they plan on making it to the top. St. Louis hasn’t had it easy with the starting rotation and Milwaukee’s starting rotation seems to be dropping like flies due injury. (Someone should probably place Anderson, Gonzales, Houser, and Lyles in bubble wrap until October.)
A week ago, everyone in the world of Major League Baseball assumed Brodie Van Wagenen and those pesky Mets were being foolish to bring in a pitcher like Marcus Stroman. (The amount of “He wanted to be a Yankee,” jokes were amusing for about thirty seconds.) They are the Mets – the team that loses in the last inning, the team that suffers injuries from their own teammates (I’m looking at you Cano), and they are the team that still pays Bobby Bonilla in 2019.
Fifty years ago, the Mets surprised everyone and won the World Series for the first time and were dubbed, “Miracle Mets.” If you ask me, I think history might be repeating itself. If players like Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil, Amed Rosario, Michael Conforto, and JD Davis can stay hot with the dangerous starting rotation of Marcus Stroman, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Zach Wheeler, and Jacob DeGrom – we may have a new set of “Miracle Mets.” So I’m telling you, you gotta believe. Let’s Go Mets!
Full disclaimer: If the Mets or the Cardinals make it into the Wild Card this season and reach the top, I will never shut up about it and I will cry, a lot.