As if on cue, the Mets got an immediate, dramatic result from their new call-up. Like Ike Davis a few weeks before him, Chris Carter, the Animal!, shone in his very first game, hitting a pinch-hit, two-run double in the eighth inning to give the Mets an 8–6 win over the Nationals. Amazin’ Avenue thinks Carter looks like an extra from Saving Private Ryan, but we’re just begging for a T-shirt at Citi Field to be sold with this image. Who wouldn’t buy one of those?
Okay, maybe we’re all a bit too excited about one at bat, but Carter’s hit did finish off one of the most thrilling Mets games of the season. (The season highlight was either last night, or last Friday’s win over the Giants.) A wild, come-from-behind win, one of those that makes you forget the poor starting pitching from Jon Niese and rejoice … as Faith and Fear puts it, one of those that makes you keep watching, no matter what.
When that every once in a while comes around, it’s pretty fun. You’ll flip around for the highlights and listen to the entire postgame show and the normally insipid callers and periodically giggle and high-five imaginary people.
And then the memory of that game will keep you watching for the next 160 to 180 hours of baseball in which every once in a while doesn’t happen.
If the Mets collapse after May ends, like they did last year, no one will remember this game, or Friday’s. But if they don’t, games like this remind you why you keep going out, why this is still fun, why you keep peeking at the television even when your team is down by four runs and it’s probably time to go to bed. No matter what happens with the Mets the rest of this season, you can’t say they haven’t provided pure moments of joy so far. That’s more than people thought would happen, anyway.
Plus, you know: the Animal.