Like death, like taxes, like the fact that
September has arrived, and heading into Sunday night's finale of a critical three-game series against the Phillies, a collapse, or at least the beginnings of one, appeared imminent. Philadelphia starters
It also would have further focused the spotlight on problems that have been there all along. The Mets' offense may indeed be too inconsistent, amassing in the first half of Sunday's doubleheader a pair of infield singles against a man (Moyer) who will turn 46 in two months.
Last year, though, the Mets didn't have
Santana and Delgado, who hit two mammoth bombs to right off of
That the Mets did, and they're now in the far preferable situation of entering the season's final 19 games with a two-game cushion in the NL East, rather than essentially having to start a 19-game season from scratch. They also succeeded in tamping down all that collapse talk, at least for a few days, but certain warning signs still remain.
Even so, the Mets have now seen the last of the Phillies, at least for the regular season, and now have the easier task of finishing the season mostly against the rest of the NL East -- 15 of their final 19 games will be played against the Nationals, the Marlins, and the Braves. Of course, it
As Delgado spoke, a distinct spraying sound, much like that produced by a shaken bottle of champagne, reverberated through the Mets' clubhouse. A quick glance into the team's adjacent bathroom revealed the source to be an aerosol can of deodorant, being very liberally applied by a player who shall remain nameless here out of respect for the sanctity of his personal hygienic habits. It's not Veuve time yet -- not even close, as the Mets know better than anyone. But the Mets' victory on Sunday, in what was their most important game of the season so far, suggested that Shea Stadium's home clubhouse might yet play host to the champagne celebration for which it was prepared so many times in 2007, and which never happened.