The Mets, not too long ago baseball’s hottest team, gave back a little of their late-summer mojo in a recent series loss to the Braves, and find themselves still tantalizingly outside of the second NL Wild Card spot. They’re still whole worlds better than they were in the first half, and as a result of their recent run they’re in a position now where every game matters. It’s horrible to think of anyone living and dying by the way baseballs bounce for the New York Mets in 2019, but that’s a curse an awful lot of otherwise lovely people must endure.

Take, for example, the ball boy working the right-field line in Wednesday night’s game against Cleveland. The Mets put two on in the bottom of the seventh in a tie game, with one out and Rajai Davis at the plate. Davis, on an 0–1 count, punched a high fastball the other way for what looked for a moment like the go-ahead RBI double the Mets needed. Our pal the ball boy dutifully gathered his stool and backed to the wall, excitedly watching Davis’s liner scream past on its way to the corner. The moment soon turned to one of crushing, gut-churning disappointment:

As microcosms go, this one is frankly a bit on-the-nose for my highfalutin sensibilities. The Mets would go on to strand the two runners, and the game would eventually go to extra innings. The good news for this little champ is, the Mets found a way to win, on a walk-off single from J.D. Davis in the 10th. The bad news is, like the thwack of Rajai’s liner to right, this thrill will inevitably end with the Mets being the Mets.