The Mets are in the NLCS!
Really they are.
I know I heard it somewhere.
I think I did.
It does feel like a month of Mondays since we last played, when in fact it’s been only five days. It’s way long, but it’s not unprecedented. This matches the interval between the day we clinched the division in 1973 (24 hours after the season was supposed to end, it always bears repeating) and the day the NLCS began. We lost Game One to the Reds but won the ensuing series. In 1999, there was virtually no time between the night we clinched the Wild Card (more than 24 hours after the season was supposed to end, it always bears repeating) and the night the NLDS began. We won Game One over the Diamondbacks and the series that ensued.
The last time the Mets had a wait of more than five days between games and won both was March 31, 1998 when the Mets beat the Phillies 1-0 on Opening Day. It had been 184 days since the Mets beat the Braves 8-2 on Closing Day, September 28, 1997.
Makes five days seem like five minutes.
What does it mean for what lies ahead? I have no idea…though I’m a little amazed to realize it’s been nine years and counting since the Mets ended one season/postseason with a victory and started the next the same way.
Juan Encarnacion — dangerous guy I forgot to mention yesterday, so I’m making up for it today — and the Cardinals have waited four days, which is long enough. That was the stretch we had from the Sunday before the All-Star break to the Friday afterwards. We won both of those games, too. I sense that’s fairly irrelevant, but when you’re winding down your fifth Mets-free day, you tend to vamp.
If this reminds me of anything for real, it was the decision in April to send Victor Diaz (remember him?) to Norfolk about a minute before neither Cliff nor Carlos B could play and we were strapped for outfielders because we didn’t DL either of our starters. We muddled through and it all proved highly irrelevant in the scheme of things. Right now, the scheme of things is quite concentrated, so I don’t know if the decision to lop off a pitcher (Ring) and add an infielder (Hernandez) will impact us in a tangible way. Much is being made of playing five consecutive days, though I’m pretty sure that’s what baseball teams do consistently through the year. The difference is doing it with four starters instead of five. Of course our starters don’t exactly exhaust themselves with complete games, so perhaps there’s not a ton to worry about there.
Chris Carpenter might get moved up? So did Bruce Hurst. It’s twenty years apart, they’re different pitchers and these are different circumstances, but the Hurst thing was supposed to scare us back to the Scott age. We got by.
No fear — not even of these interminable delays.