Wild finish sums up crazy week for Mets
After club built six-run lead, Familia surrendered go-ahead homer between rain delays
NEW YORK -- Last Thursday, the Mets called up outfield prospect Michael Conforto from Double-A Binghamton, a busy news day in a hectic season for New York. They followed that move on Friday with a trade for Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe. Johnson hit a home run on Saturday en route to a 15-run explosion. Uribe sent a walk-off single to the deepest reaches of center field on Sunday after the Mets spent their morning ridding the clubhouse weight room of a stray raccoon.
That was merely the beginning. On Monday, they traded for reliever Tyler Clippard, which proved significant on Tuesday, when Major League Baseball suspended Jenrry Mejia 162 games for a positive performance-enhancing drug test. On Wednesday, New York completed a trade for Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez, only to back out after Wilmer Flores learned he was in the deal, weeping on the field as he absorbed the information.
Which brought the Mets to Thursday afternoon at Citi Field, where a week's worth of absurdity remained on full display. Two strikes away from a series victory against the Padres, they stepped out of a 44-minute rain delay, spent the next seven minutes turning a two-run lead into a one-run deficit, then waited out another two-hour, 52-minute tarp party before finally losing, 8-7, to the Padres.
"Today's a tough day," manager Terry Collins said after the game.
"That's the game," added closer Jeurys Familia, who blew the save. "We're going to have bad times and good times."
And uncertain times. The non-waiver Trade Deadline is Friday at 4 p.m. ET, by the way. They are still shopping.
It's hardly a secret that absurdity tends to follow the Mets, whether it's entirely their fault or not. In many cases this season, they have pointed to their ability to overcome drama as reason for their current standing -- still, despite everything, just three games back from a Nationals team that they will host this weekend. Some things -- remember the raccoon? -- are beyond their control. Others -- remember Gomez? -- are not.
How the Mets respond to it all will determine their ultimate future. On Thursday, they folded, the victim of Familia's third blown save in three tries since the All-Star break. They know they need to recover soon, lest their rivals from Washington spend this weekend undoing all their accomplishments over the past four months.
"They've had to be resilient," Collins said of his team. "And [Friday], they've got to come back."
By 6 p.m. Thursday, nearly six hours after the day's first pitch, David Wright was standing on the top step of the dugout, signing autographs for the pockets of fans who waited out both delays. Mr. Met was wandering around the stands handing out T-shirts, as Queen's "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" blared over the loudspeakers.
Crazy little thing, this Mets season. Crazier might be what's yet to come.