This should be a big series tonight in Philadelphia. There should be a tenseness in the air, a feeling of excitement and anticipation that comes with a pennant race.
But, there is no fire. After the Mets fell flat and were routed by Arizona last Sunday, they sleepwalked through Atlanta. Take away one swing of the bat by Jeff Francoeur and they would be heading to Philly on a four-game losing streak.
Not only were the Mets sloppy in Atlanta, but worse they were listless and seemed disinterested. With the exception of R.A. Dickey (and Johan Santana after the first inning Monday), they played flat and without a sense of urgency.
Their season is hanging on by a thread and they are playing with an aura of inevitability, as if they were waiting for the end.
Doc Gooden and Darryl Strawberry will be inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame this weekend. Both players brought a certain electricity to Shea Stadium.
Each player had the ability to grab the crowd by the scruff of the neck.
For Strawberry, it was the sense of anticipation with every at-bat. He was one of the few players who kept you riveted every time he came to the plate because there was the prospect of hitting a mammoth home run like the one he hit off the scoreboard clock in St. Louis.
For Gooden, during the summers of 1985 and 1986 there was a buzz at Shea whenever he took the mound. I remember how the crowd would rise and scream whenever he got two strikes on a hitter. Gooden had electric stuff, the kind that made you wonder if this would be the night he’d throw a no-hitter.
Eventually, he did. But, fittingly in the tormented history of this franchise, he did so for the Yankees.