Anthony Rieber has been at Newsday since Aug. 31, 1998 and in his current position since 2004.
The Mets threw Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom against a last-place team the last two days. Both pitched great and the Mets lost both games.
The Mets are honoring the 1986 World Series championship team this weekend as the Red Sox visit in what for two days has been a super-fun, supercharged atmosphere at Citi Field.
On the basis of the concession lines alone, the Mets should make enough dough this weekend to be able to offer Yoenis Cespedes $200 million right now to stick around for another 10 years. Saturday's attendance of 43,255 is the second-largest Mets crowd ever at Citi Field.
But there's another less-beloved year in Mets lore that is trying to peek around the 1986 World Series trophy and show its hated face: 2007.
Yes, the year of The Collapse. Sorry, but it won't be forgotten in Flushing until and if the Mets clinch the NL East title. Coming on the heels of Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS (Beltran, Wainwright, bat on shoulder, season over), it was just too much to take.
So Mets fans can wear their Harvey and deGrom and Cespedes shirts all they want. But deep in the drawer under the brand-new apparel are tear-stained shirts with these names:
Beltran. Glavine. Delgado. Lo Duca. Etc.
It was a bitter time in Mets history, and the team hasn't been back to the playoffs since 2006. In 2015, the postseason is so close, so attainable, that you'll have to forgive Mets fans for dreaming about what deGrom and Harvey (or Harvey and deGrom, you pick) will feel like in the first two games of the NLDS.
But as the Mets themselves keep reminding us, they have to get there first. The odds are tremendous that they will, even after Saturday's 3-1 defeat. But they were just as tremendous when the Mets held a seven-game lead with 17 games left in 2007.
Both of the last two games were winnable. Harvey threw six shutout innings on Friday night and left with a 2-0 lead that Logan Verrett promptly tossed in the trash. Still, it took 10 innings for Boston to win, and the Mets had the winning run on first when Cespedes flied out to center to end it.
On Saturday, deGrom was perfect for three innings and didn't allow a hit for four. He gave up two runs in the sixth, one scoring because of the record umpteenth boneheaded defensive play of Daniel Murphy's career.
Murphy, playing first base, tried to make a 3-6-1 double play on what would have been a sure out at home with the Mets already trailing 1-0. The run scored when the return throw to deGrom was way late to double up Brock Holt.
Also, the Mets' hot bats cooled off. They came in having averaged more than 10 runs a game in a seven-game winning streak. That wasn't going to last, obviously, nor was the Mets playing like an unbeatable juggernaut. "We're going to be fine," manager Terry Collins said. "We got a blip and we've got to pick it up."
Don't take up residence in Panic City just yet. The best things the Mets have going for them is their cupcake schedule -- although the Boston Cream Puffs were supposed to be part of that -- and the utter inability of the Nationals to mount any kind of challenge.
Washington led the Mets by three games going into a three-game series at Citi Field on July 31. The Nationals and overmatched manager Matt Williams were swept out of town and quickly bounced out of first place. Including that series, the Nationals have lost 17 of their last 28 games. They beat the Marlins Saturday night to cut the deficit to 5 1/2 games.
The Mets were due for a dip. Maybe this was it. Maybe the Nationals will never get it together and the Mets will coast to the finish line. Then any talk about 2007 can be eighty-sixed for good.