There were moments when it didn't look like the Mets or Hillary Rodham Clinton would last the summer.
This wasn't particularly surprising for Mets fans, who are used to broken hearts. Sure, there was talk of 90 wins back in spring training and the season got off to a fast start. But Mets fans have been there before -- a few injuries, the ominous word "rebuilding," and a trade deadline approaching with no sign of arriving help. Great young pitching, everyone said. Pack it in for 2016.
And Clinton: From Yankee-like front-runner dominance, she fell prey to two words that proved as disturbing as pulled hamstrings or David Wright's back pain: "emails" and "Benghazi." The words haunted her candidacy like then-Met Carlos Beltran's called strike three in 2006. She thought the troubles would disappear. By midsummer the email controversy was clanking along, and it dawned on some that Clinton was really a Met -- the perennial also-ran, the one who never catches a break, smiling bitterly off to the side of the stage, lamenting what might have been. Reliable southpaw Bernie Sanders was only a few games back, when he should have been blown away. Collapse looked imminent.
But then for the Mets, the unbelievable happened. Reinforcements arrived, led by Yoenis Cespedes, a super-PAC RBI machine. Wilmer Flores thought he was traded and teared up (Clinton in 2008?) and two days later hit a walk-off home run. The Republican clown car of the National League East looked ever more directionless, heading only toward the cellar. And then, against steep odds, playoff baseball arrived at Citi Field.
Prodded by the unshakable socialist billy goat and Daniel Murphy magic, the Mets made it through to the final round. Clinton, who aced the first Democratic debate and fended off a rival who knew his way around the postseason (Joe Biden, strong out of the bullpen), not to mention grueling extra-innings Thursday with the Benghazi committee, still had the nomination in her sights.
We're still waiting to see who wins at the end. Let the contests begin.