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The Mets Are Playing Spoiler

Willie Harris #22 of the New York Mets hits a game winning two run single against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on September 22, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri.

The men behind the Mets are occupied at the moment. Irving H. Picard's $1 billion lawsuit against Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz on behalf of those defrauded by Bernie Madoff could be resolved as early as next week. The Mets owners have done their best to spoil the lawsuit by insisting that they were too ignorant and inexperienced to catch wind of Madoff's innumerable indiscretions while engaged in a variety of business ventures with the incarcerated mega-crook. Neat. Meanwhile, the Mets are doing a bit of spoiling themselves.

With playoff contention long since abandoned and little to gain or lose from their remaining games, the best the Mets can do is mess shit up for other folks. With that in mind, they get an A-plus for last night's effort. New York was visiting the Wild Card-contending Cardinals, (Wild Cardinals?) and they may have worn out their welcome in the final inning of the series. After a rain delay, the Mets trotted out an almost comically weak lineup and looked all ready to buckle for a third straight loss. Here's Amazin Avenue with the set-up:

The tarp was barely off the field before the Cardinals were on the board, as Rafael Furcal led off with a single, and then Allen Craig followed with a two run home run off Mets starter Chris Capuano. The Mets got half of that back in the top of the fifth, scoring via their preferred method of late, a bases loaded walk, but that was as close as they would get. Albert Pujols launched a moonshot in the bottom half of the inning, and then three consecutive singles chased Capuano from the game.

The Mets pen, wait for it, was not much better. I know, I am as surprised as you are. Josh Stinson, and Daniel Herrera conspired to extend the Cardinals lead to 6-1 in the bottom of the seventh. The Mets got a run back in the eighth on a single, error, wild pitch and passed ball. Yes, it was a real LASER SHOW from the Mets offense today. 

And then — WHAMMY! — the Mets ruined everything. They reeled off a six-run ninth inning rally, beginning with a Willie Harris (!) walk and ending with a Harris single to drive in two runs and put New York in front. It was so dastardly that Terry Pendleton, first base coach for the Wild Card-leading Braves, reportedly texted Harris after the game to say "way to go" as the Cardinals slid to two games behind Atlanta and their fans got super bummed. That's first-rate spoiling. (Though, to be fair, the Mets did take two of three games from the Braves last weekend and lose the first two in St. Louis.)

New York now plays host to the Philles, whose hold on the divisional pennant is, unfortunately, unassailable. As spoiling goes, the best the Mets can do is let scorpions loose in the visitor's locker room or put sneezing powder in Cole Hamels's rosin bag or something. Oh yeah, or somehow hold onto their $1 billion.

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Photo: Jeff Curry/Getty Images