This Mets Season Stopped Being Fun All of a Sudden

Three straight last inning losses for the Mets.

By Josh Alper
|  Wednesday, Aug 3, 2011  |  Updated 11:15 AM EDT
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There were great cheers heard throughout the land when the Mets pulled off a trade that sent Francisco Rodriguez and his nasty little option for 2012 to Milwaukee last month.

After watching the Mets lose a third straight game in the opposition's final at-bat, we have to wonder if anyone's got seller's remorse? K-Rod wasn't perfect, but he rarely blew three chances in a row with games on the line.

Oh, it's true that Jason Isringhausen got no help from his defense in Tuesday's 4-3 loss to the Marlins. Justin Turner threw a ball away with the bases loaded to allow the tying and go-ahead runs to score, but Izzy looked like he might blow the whole thing himself before Turner decided to share the goat horns.

We're guessing that most people would still have made the deal because they had a realistic appraisal of the Mets' chances this season. Not everyone is quite so sane, but no one ever accused New York's tabloid writers of caring much for steak over sizzle when it came to making more of longshot Wild Card runs than really exists. 

Still, the last three nights of bad work from Izzy and Bobby Parnell have really hurt. Not because the Mets have failed to pick up ground on the scuffling Braves -- that wouldn't amount to much more than deepening the hurt down the line -- but because they have marred what has been a pleasant little season in Queens.

Rooting for a scrappy overacheiver is a blast, especially when they give you a chance to smile, shrug your shoulders and say "you never know" when a playoff conversation comes about. You might not believe in their chances, but you can hope and, at the very least, enjoy watching the team play their games.

That team has been on display over the last three nights. The Mets have shown their customary pluck by coming back in each game to either tie or take the lead before the bullpen flushed away all possibility of a victory.

There's no more agonizing way to lose a game than to hand it away in the last inning and multiplying that agony by three is a good way to kill off the hope that's lingered in the hearts of diehards to this point in the season. You can only fool yourself so much when you watch a team find ways to lose every single night.

It doesn't help that it looks like Johan Santana won't be back at all this season. His return was a beacon for the hopeful and now that it is disappearing it won't take much for hearts and minds to turn to other things over the next two months.

Hopefully that turn won't obscure all of the good things that happened during this Mets season that was much more compelling than anyone thought it would be back in April. A few more losses like Tuesday's will wind up putting a very different spin on this season, though, so it would behoove the Mets to start getting those last three outs sometime soon.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

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