Well that was fun, wasn’t it? A day after the immediate future of the Mets was bemoaned in some circles – this one, in particular – they blasted four homeruns, stroked six doubles and posted a 17-1 rout of the Chicago Cubs. (I almost called them the “Flubs,” but then I remembered the Metsian follies of the previous two days.) After the fourth inning, this one was truly “never in doubt.” Games like this on the Queens side of town have been few and far between.
The old saw goes that there are games you will definitely win and games you will definitely lose. It’s the ones in between where pennants are won or lost. What I mean is what everyone calls “winnable” games: games where a lead was taken, then surrendered, or a furious comeback was required and achieved. So let’s take a look at those ones in between, and what it might mean going forward.
A quick scan of baseball-reference.com reveals that in 76 games this year, they’ve had 30 games where they were going to win, no matter what. They’ve also had 21 losses in similar fashion. That leaves 25 games that could’ve gone either way. For your enjoyment and edification, here they are:
April 9 – Mets were down 3-0 after 3 innings, but came back to tie it in the 4th and win it 4-3 on a Daniel Murphy walk-off single after a throwing error on a bunt. (record: 1-0).
April 15 – Mike Pelfrey nursed a 2-0 lead into the 7th against the Phillies, but the bullpen gave up several ghosts and the Mets lose 8-2 (1-1).
April 20 – Mets fall behind early to the Giants at home, tie it in the 9th and lose in the top of the 10th (1-2).
April 21 – Mets gave up a 4-1 lead in the 9th, won it on Aubrey Huff’s shenanigans at second base (2-2).
April 24 – Lucas Duda’s 8th inning infield single breaks a 1-1 tie against the Marlins (3-2).
April 27 – If an 18-9 loss in Colorado can be considered a toss-up game, remember the Mets had a 4-run lead as late as the 5th and Scott Hairston hit for the cycle (4-3).
April 30 – 2 singles and a stolen base in the 8th gave the Astros a 4-3 comeback win (5-4).
May 8 – Mets come back from 4 runs down to win 7-4 (7-5).
May 9 – Mets erase a 4-2 deficit in the 7th to win 10-6 (8-5).
May 13 – A 6-run 9th sinks Francisco again (8-7).
May 16 – The Reds put up 5 runs over the 7th and 8th and win 6-3 (8-8).
May 17 – The Mets return the favor, erasing an 0-4 deficit and win 9-4 (9-8).
May 22 – Singles and errors give the Mets a late lead over Pittsburgh (10-9).
May 30 – Mets squander a 3-1 lead, Phillies win 10-6 (10-10).
June 4 – The Cards break a 3-all tie to win 5-4 (10-11).
June 5 – The wild Tuesday night, when we all found out Valdespin is not a shortstop (10-12).
June 10 – Rauch gives up Russell Martin’s walk-off homer in the Bronx (10-13).
June 23 – The Yankees win 5-4, despite Chris Young’s outstanding start. (10-14).
As we can see, they had a pretty good run early, but have lost their last six “toss-up” games. If they can reverse the trend, the second half could provide a lot of entertainment value.
Follow me on Twitter@CharlieHangley