You know, when you live through a game like last night (9/24), you begin to wonder if you’ll ever see the Mets come back or come through again. It doesn’t seem possible to hit a fly ball with a runner on third and nobody out. There’s no real reason to feel this way. Even Wednesday night’s game had something as wonderful and as not-really-expected as Carlos Delgado’s grand slam. But you know how it is. You think, we’re toast. We’ve always been toast. Toast is our essence.
And then you see something as unbelievable, and dare I say it, as redemptive as what just happened in the rain and wind of Thursday. You actually saw something you may often dream about but that never happens. Ryan Church was dead at the plate and he didn’t run into the catcher, he ran around him and reached back and touched the plate. You saw the two most minor of all the Mets get two consecutive and vital run-building hits. And you saw Carlos Beltran, who will never forget the at-bat we will never forget, continuing his life-long mission to make up for it.
It’s amazing how happy a baseball game can make you. Wet and muddy, the Mets danced up and down, with that bounce you only see at a clinching. The small crowd of diehards was so wet and so loud and so tireless. This is the Shea way. The fans, as Jerry Manuel said after the game, were demanding it. As we’ve demanded it in the past. Demanding with love. Demanding to see that dance again on Sunday.