Scenario: If the New York Mets can win the N.L. Wild Card game they will have accomplished what few teams have. In mid-August, they were two games below .500.
With three of their regular starting pitchers out, the Mets went 27-13, with the best record in the majors, to finish the season with a chance to advance. If the Mets can beat Madison Bumgarner and the SF Giants, a team with plenty of post-season hardware, they then face the Chicago Cubs.
On Wednesday night at Citi Field, the Giants will play the Mets before a hyped up crowd. New York City loves a winner. And, the Mets are again in the post-season.
The Cubs have only played the Mets once in the playoffs, last year in the NLCS, and were dominated in four straight games. It was the first time in the NLCS that the losing team never had a lead in any game.
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This season, pitchers Harvey, DeGrom, and Steven Matz had season-ending injuries, yet the Mets still clinched a Wild Card spot.
Years ago, Cubs fan who were around, will remember the ’69 season where the Cubbies seemed destined to make the playoffs, only to play terrible baseball down the stretch. While the Mets, rallied, and surged ahead, and passed the Cubs in the second week of September.
It was the season when the Cubs played a two-game series at Shea Stadium, and in one of the games, a black cat walked behind Ron Santo in the one deck circle. The Cubs lost that game and floundered in an eight-game losing streak.
Chicago went 18-27 in the last quarter of the season, while the Mets went an amazing 38-11. New York went on the win the World Series, eventually, taking baseball by storm that fall. Now that was a hot team. This season, the Mets are also hot.
They surged at the right time, and new acquisition Jay Bruce came out of his prolonged slump and started bashing the ball. Jose Reyes, who played with the Mets years ago, seems to have caught the Citi Field fever and is playing very well.
If the Mets find a way and win the wildcard playoff game, it will be a crazy series — Cubs vs. Mets, again. The Mets have nothing to lose, and the pressure will be the favorite Cubs, who have dominated with 103 wins. The Cubs won the N.L. Central. They have had several weeks to prepare for Friday, the first game at Wrigley Field.
The playoffs are really a roll of the dice. And, this could be the case in a few short days