By: Paul DiSclafani
Relax Mets fans. No one was more frustrated and disappointed than your humble narrator when we couldn’t put just a few wins together this week to secure home field advantage. But everything changed when Cespedes was writhing on the ground in pain and our collective playoff dreams would be determined by the grainy results of an x-ray.
All of a sudden it didn’t seem to matter. Did we really want to chance someone pulling a hamstring, tweaking an old groin injury or running into a wall full speed just to get one extra home playoff game? In a playoff series we waited nine years to get to? When we suffered multiple seasons of stupid, ridiculous injury after injury that seemed to come out of nowhere?
I get it. I know all the advantages of playing Games 1 and 2 at home. I have tickets for Game 1 and 2, for goodness sake. Do you think I would trade the series openers Friday and Saturday night at Citi field for Games 3 and 4 on a Monday and Tuesday?
But to insure that my team is healthy, yeah I would.
We’re not talking about never having to play in LA – that might be different. What we are talking about is the location of Game 5, right? We still have to play two games here and two games there, right? In the overall scheme of things, if there is a game five to play, both teams will have needed to win two games one way or another.
I know the Mets have a better home record (48-32) than road record (41-40) – but that statistic may be misleading. Since the magic date of August 1, the Mets are just 9-16 at home and 26-6 on the road. You can re-read that if you want, I’ll wait…
They also broke a 100+ year-old major league record by scoring 3 or more runs in 31 consecutive road games. In case you didn’t notice, they have scored just one run in their last 35 innings and in their last 11 home games, they have scored more than three runs just twice.
Maybe this team, as its constructed today, just feels more comfortable on the road. There isn’t as much pressure to perform, there is a inherent “Us against The World” bonding where you are in enemy territory. They are a bunch of young kids and we were all young once, weren’t we? Is there anything better than looking your friends in the eye and simultaneously saying, “Road Trip!”
Last game of the regular season this afternoon, not sure if I want to see any of the regulars in the lineup today, but I’m sure they will all play. This is a truly meaningless game, the one all of us Mets fans are used to seeing around this time of year.
Hey wait a minute. If they get at least a split in LA, my tickets for Games 3 and 4 could have a clincher in there! So I got THAT going for me…
NO-NO FOR SCHERZER
Hats off to the $210 million dollar man, Max Scherzer and his second no hitter of the year. I don’t care what lineup he was facing, getting a no-hitter is quite an accomplishment as any Mets fan knows. Too bad for Washington, that investment hasn’t really paid off. Scherzer has been dominant at times, but his record is just 14-12.
Scherzer not only no-hit the Mets, but he struck out 17, nine of them in a row. What a dominant performance. He became just the sixth player in baseball history to throw two non-hitters in the same season.
Mets were no hit twice this year and so were the Dodgers. Only two other teams have ever been no-hit in the regular season, and both of them also made the playoffs – the 2010 Tampa Bay Rays and the 1917 Chicago White Sox. The White Sox won the World Series that year.
REMEMBERING RUSTY STAUB
“Le Grand Orange” played in the 1973 World Series with a separated shoulder, famously under-handing the ball to the infield after making a catch. In Game 4 of the NLCS against the Cincinnati Reds, Staub crashed into the wall tracking down and making the catch in the 11th inning of a sure double by Dan Driessen, separating his shoulder. Although he missed the clinching Game 5 of that series and Game 1 of the World Series vs Oakland, he was back out in Right Field for Game 2.
He still hit .423 in the Series and drove in six runs. How many players today would have even made the trip cross country with a separated shoulder?
Mets reported that Stub is out of danger after suffering a heart attack during a cross country flight from Ireland back to NY. The plane returned back to Ireland, where Staub was hospitalized.
Hope he can make it to Citi Field during this post season and throw out the first ball in one of these games.
A VIEW FROM THE BENCH: I guess if you look at the “results” of these post-clinching games, you could see all the aggravation and frustration of Mets fans. But our starting pitching has looked fabulous, hasn’t it? … I like deGrom-Syndergaard-Harvey for games 1-2-3 and Colon for Game 4 with deGrom back for Game 5. Maybe we could just sweep the Dodgers and Game 4 would be moot … Bryce Harper said he loved the Mets fans passion, but he enjoys playing the villain. After catching the last out of an inning, he sauntered over to the stands and made believe he was going to toss the ball to a fan, and instead kept it, grinning all the way back to the dugout. Then he got hit in the shin by a 99-mph fastball by Syndergaard. Looks like Noah is protecting the fans, or Karma is a mother…
BY THE NUMBERS: In the Scherzer no-hitter, both teams combined for 35 strikeouts, breaking the MLB record of 31 set in 1997. And Scherzer even out hit the Mets with a single off Matt Harvey … If you take that four game NL East clinching sweep in Cincinnati out of the equation, the Mets are just 3-11 since September 14 and have lost five straight heading into today. Just for a little perspective, the 2000 Yankees finished 15-18 in the regular season and we all know how their post season ended … Congrats to the Yankees for getting their 10,000th win as a franchise. Of course, they did it on the night they clinched a Wild-Card spot …I know this goes against everything that this post has been preaching about, but I’d really like to get to 90 wins. It’s such a great number and has been out rallying point since last season.