Whatever the reason, the Mets produced their third victory in five Interleague/interborough games this season and assured themselves of winning a three-game series at Yankee Stadium for the first time.
All of it made their .500 record seem brighter, happier and so much more promising than the Yankees'.
"Perception-wise, people would probably think our's is better," winning pitcher Tom Glavine said. "The Yankees are the Yankees. There's a ton of expectations. The Yankees being at .500 this late in the season is probably a disappointment.
"For us, .500 is a little more acceptable -- not that we're happy or satisfied with it."
Given a choice between the identical records, Wright opted for the Mets'.
"I'll take ours, of course," he said. "I'm a Met, I grew up a Mets fan."
But Floyd weighed the options and analyzed a bit before he chose. If he really believed the Yankees were about to self-correct as other, diplomatic Mets suggested, then he would opt for the Yankees' 37-37, he said, because they're about to take off. Or if he thought the Mets couldn't improve upon their performance in their final 88 games, he'd take the Yankees' .500 too.
But Floyd chose the Mets .500.
"Not because it's us, just that I don't think they're gonna be where we're gonna be," he said. "I think they'd feel the same way about themselves."
For the most part, the Mets were uncomfortable making comparisons. But they didn't argue when it was suggested they appeared to be the hungrier, feistier team. They accepted the compliment.
Their feistiness was evident from the outset. Jose Reyes was retired, leading off the game against losing pitcher Sean Henn, but he produced an 11-pitch at-bat that allowed his teammates to see what the left-handed rookie throws and, they said, set a tone for the afternoon.
"Jose was in fighting mode, right away," No. 2 batter Mike Cameron said.
The Mets' plan was not to allow Henn to get comfortable. He didn't. Cameron walked and, after Carlos Beltran flied out, Floyd did to a 3-2 slider what veterans try to do in their last cuts of batting practice. Upper deck right field. Up in Mantle territory.
The Mets hit four sacrifice flies in winning, 6-4, Friday night. Three of them might have fit in Floyd's 19th home run.
"He's just mashing it lately," Mike Piazza said. "He's going to give me an inferiority complex."
Wright hit his 11th home run, also to right, in the second before the Yankees scored twice against Glavine (5-7) on a ringing double to left center by Robinson Cano.
"So loud it was frightening," Cameron said -- and he was in right field.
Floyd hit his 20th home run, a more pedestrian shot, with one out in the fifth, ending the workday for Henn (0-3) after Beltran had doubled in Reyes. Henn is the first rookie pitcher the Mets have beaten this season, and the fifth they've faced.
By then, Glavine was in control. He gained his first victory in four starts, allowing two runs, seven hits and two walks. The Mets had lost each of his last three starts, and he had lost two. He had pitched merely 2 1/3 innings against the Mariners Sunday in Seattle.
The Mets produced a second three-run rally in the seventh against Mike Stanton and Paul Quantrill. And the rest was left for the rotissereans to calculate.
What the Mets chose to calculate was their recent runs -- they have won three straight games and four of five. A victory Sunday against Randy Johnson would produce a .500 record on this four-stop, 12-game road trip. And it would break this not particularly meaningful tie with the Yankees and produce a series sweep. Even the diplomatic Mets, most notably Piazza, acknowledged, "It would be huge."
"Winning one game doesn't mean that much sometimes," Floyd said. "I mean, you could always win another instead. But this one -- getting us over .500, sweeping in the big game at 8:05, ESPN and everyone else is playing afternoon games, so they're watching us. I'll take this one. Every one wants this one."