Terry Collins called last night’s win “No doubt the biggest win they’ve had this year.” It’d be hard to disagree, and they extend their winning streak to six games after they got shut down early by Gorzelanny. He talked about turning the anger the team has about the last couple of years on the opponent and using it to their advantage. One things for sure; this team is an extremely likable team that plays with energy and is fun to watch.
Winning games when you struggle to hit early and have to overcome bad calls and comeback in the 8th and the 9th can be huge morale boosters. I know all teams have huge comeback wins and look great and energetic doing it. All teams look better when they’re winning. For _this_ team, the comeback and practicing winning, as uncrowned captain David Wright would put it, may be a bigger deal. We watched the Met struggle early this season, and press and try too hard and make mistakes. Terry Collins tried to keep them upbeat, but nothing does that better than winning. Games like this reinforce the attitude on the team that they are winners, and that no obstacle is too large to overcome. It’ a complete 180 from where they were earlier in the season. The baseball season is a long one, and there is a huge mental preparation aspect to it. When teams believe they can pull out a win, when they don’t doubt themselves, it can be a huge weapon to get through a season. The other side: When a pitcher is out there, maybe a closer that hasn’t handled the role well, (Why, hello there Ryan Madson) knowing that the other team is sure they’re going to beat you, it can eat at you. The Phillies of recent years may be an example of this. You heard from everyone, including opposing players, that the Phillies are never out of a game. It creates a mental edge. It may not be a large one, or one that’s measurable, but it does exist.
I don’t know if a “winning attitude” or some sort of mental edge is enough. I don’t know if the Mets are talented enough, or will stay healthy enough, to win a division. I believe they can, but me believing it, or even the players believing it, doesn’t mean it will happen. For now, it doesn’t matter. They’re a fun bunch that believe they can win any game, and I’m going to have fun watching until the end believing they can pull it out. I’m not worrying about how many wins they have to have if they’re going to compete, or what their record needs to be against this opponent or that. Play the game, try to win the game, and I’ll sit on my couch and root for you. It’ll be a nice change from having to root against teams the last couple of years.