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It’s Okay To Feel Good About The Mets

The Mets were destroyed by the Dodgers 10-0 on Sunday, and Mets fans found themselves feeling good afterwards. How did this happen?

Mets fans are a funny bunch. Heading into the offseason, Mets devotees were anxious to see what moves they’d make to quickly improve the team back to the 101-win stylings of 2022. Things didn’t turn out that way, and the people were dejected. Then they focused on the idea of signing a new contract with Pete Alonso before the season started and keeping him in a Mets uniform for years to come. Then it didn’t happen, and supporters were disappointed. Then Opening Day approached, and expectations were relatively low, and fans were cautious. Then the Mets dropped their first 5 games and the followers were frustrated. And scared. And angry. Then things started to change, and a little more than two weeks later, the Mets lost a laugher to Los Angeles, and people were…pleased.

Over the last 15 days or so, the Mets have been winning. Not every game. Not gracefully. And still, winning. The team that looked lifeless and lost in their first homestand, suddenly look confident and determined. Players that had been slumping have started to come out of it, other players who had started off well are maintaining that momentum, and perhaps most importantly, nearly every game has a different hero. And Mets fans have had little to complain about. Or, more importantly, they’ve had little motivation to complain. Instead of nitpicking specific plays or decisions, they are just enjoying the victories. This past weekend, as they went into Dodgers Stadium to face the “superteam” that made most of the noise in the offseason, fans knew this would be a litmus test. Never mind the fact that all the teams the Mets had already beaten were above .500. The Dodgers and the Braves are considered by most to be the teams to beat in the National League. The Mets already took care of Atlanta almost two weeks ago by besting the Braves in 2 of 3. Now, they took on a lineup whose first 3 hitters are likely Hall of Famers. And again, the Mets took 2 of 3. So when they lost brutally to the Dodgers in that third game, there was still so much that had been satisfying, that the loss was essentially met with a collective shrug.

Of course, there are plenty of things to be worried about. Their talented young catcher, Francisco Alvarez, and their crafty and dependable veteran lefty reliever, Brooks Raley, are both on the Injured List, with Alvarez expected to stay there until late June (give or take). Additionally, the bullpen, which has been vitally reliable so far this season, is starting to get overused and how long can they prevent that from showing? Lastly, while the 0-5 start has been counterbalanced, it’s not a distant memory, and fans know how quickly that can happen again.

Still, Mets fans are happy right now. It’s tempting to look at every win and hope it’s a sign that the team has postseason potential. Similarly, it’s almost instinctive to absorb every loss as a reminder that this roster doesn’t stack up against the most highly regarded teams in the league. Yet, for the last 2 weeks or so, neither of those thoughts has permeated the fan base. Instead, after a 6-game win streak, Mets fans recognize that the team at least has the ability to win games consistently, and while this season, like most seasons, will be a roller coaster, it looks like it might be worth the ride.

This is not a common feeling for Mets fans. They often declare “Ya gotta believe,” but in recent years that’s been uttered after they’ve won more than when they’ve been down. Mets fans want to believe, but often without hope, which seems weird. Whereas most teams’ fans have superstitions like a lucky blanket, or a specific way of watching a game, many Mets fans feel they should avoid their team’s games altogether to bring out the best luck. So for fans to follow the Mets with a day-by-day approach, and not get too up when they win and not get too down when they lose, even as badly as 10-0, is remarkable. And for Mets fans, that feels good.

For now, at least.