By Lenn Robbins, The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com
Buck Showalter was still trying to take it all in, still trying to process the Mets ridiculous come-from-behind win over the Philadelphia Phillies.
“Nights like tonight make you realize what could be,” he told reporters.
Oh, can Mets fans relate to that. How many nights have they pondered the possibilities? How many nights have they looked uptown and seen the yearly World Series chase that is the rite of Yankees fans? How many nights have they wondered what could happen with owners that were willing to spend.
The answer came this week, culminating Thursday night in the City of Brotherly Impossibility.
Trailing 7-1 in the ninth, the Mets were truly Amazin, scoring seven times to turn near-certain defeat into, well, a night that makes one realize might be this season in Queens. The last time the Mets came back from a deficit of at least six runs in the ninth was against a team that doesn’t even exist. They rallied to beat the Montreal Expos in 1997.
Think about that – 1997. Since then the Mets have won exactly zero World Series, the last coming in 1986.
If there was ever any question as to just how much business would change in Queens when billionaire Steve Cohen purchased the Mets in November of 2020. He boldly proclaimed that the team would have a budget commiserate with being a big-market franchise.
Earlier in the week the Mets designated for assigned Robinson Cano, eating about $45 million in salary. Then they rally from six down with Starling Marte, who was signed to a four-year, $78 million deal, smacking the game-winning double.
Please, don’t tell Mets fans you can’t buy happiness.
“Such a great team win,” shortstop Francisco Lindor told reporters. “The way everyone believed in each other, pushed each other, counted on each other … it’s epical for sure. Wins like this add up over the course of the year.”
The year is young. The dog days of the season still months away. But the Mets (19-9) are in first place in the NL East, five and one-half games ahead of the surprising Florida Marlins and six and one-half ahead of the defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves.
Friday night’s game against the Phillies was rained out which is fitting. After Thursday night’s win, the Mets deserved another 24 hours to realize what could be.