Something about the word "miracle" prompts us to make positive associations with it. Perhaps it's the lilt that comes from that first accented syllable. Perhaps it's because the etymology traces back to the Latin miraculum, which means "object of wonder." Perhaps it's because we've come to associate the word with divine favor -- intervention that spares us from woe that seemed inevitable, foreordained even. The 2019 Mets, though, are here to remind us that miracles are really just a surmounting of the odds and not necessarily something in the service of a better tomorrow.
The 2019 Mets' miracles are managing to set the kitchen on fire while making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The 2019 Mets' miracles are requiring maritime rescue from a sink. The 2019 Mets' miracles are losing your balance because of sudden flatulence, falling out an open third-story window and into the back of a passing garbage truck and then somehow being audited months later because of it. The 2019 Mets' miracles are this:
- Mets reliever Paul Sewald relieved Seth Lugo
- Victor Robles: reached on an infield single to shortstop
- Howie Kendrick hit for Javy Guerra
- H. Kendrick: flied out to deep right
- Trea Turner: doubled to deep right center, Robles scored
- Asdrubal Cabrera: singled to center, Turner to third
- Anthony Rendon: singled to left, Turner scored, Cabrera to second
- Luis Avilan relieved Paul Sewald
- Juan Soto: singled to right, Cabrera to third, Rendon to second
- Edwin Diaz relieved Luis Avilan
- Ryan Zimmerman hit for Matt Adams
- R. Zimmerman: doubled to deep right center, Cabrera and Rendon scored, Soto to third
- Michael Taylor ran for Ryan Zimmerman
- K. Suzuki: homered to left, Soto and Taylor scored
That sequence of indignities constitutes the bottom of the ninth of Tuesday's Mets-Nationals game. The Mets went into that final frame with a 10-4 lead and, as you see above, even got the second batter out. Then, though, things fell apart in a manner that suggests malice aforethought, or at least a devotion to comedic outcomes that exceeds all other devotions.
At this point, a perusal of the relevant win probability chart is in order. Said chart tracks each team's chances of winning a game as that same game progresses toward conclusion. Regard then recoil:
As you can see, after that Howie Kendrick fly-out, the Mets' chances of winning made it all the way to 99.7 percent. Even when Kurt Suzuki stepped in prior to his walk-off, the stupid Mets still had a 71.1 percent chance of closing it out. Then, of course, Suzuki rendered it all so meaningless that it became meaningful:
And with that the game that shall forevermore be known as "Balderdash on the Anacostia" was done.
That impossible loss set the Mets back to 70-68 on the season. At this writing, the SportsLine Projection Model (@SportsLine on Twitter) gives Mickey Callaway's squadron just a 5.0 percent chance of making the playoffs. This loss hurt, but they were longshots even before they somehow shot themselves in the groin with an unloaded potato cannon. If, however, they wind up missing out on that second wild-card spot by a single game then this game, in metaphorical terms, will be elevated from setting the kitchen on fire while making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to setting a kitchen all the way across town on fire while making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Or stated another way:
What are the Mets’ chances of making the playoffs?— Tim Healey (@timbhealey) September 4, 2019
Mickey Callaway: “Look at the game last night. There’s much more of a possibility of us getting to the playoffs than there was for them to win that game. Anything is possible.”
And the people say: whoa.