Watching three of this year's four League Division Series end in sweeps got me thinking that three-and-out is a tough way to leave the playoffs. It also got me checking. Turns out only one team in Major League Baseball history meets the following criteria:
• Has been to at least three postseasons
• Has never won fewer than three games in any postseason it's been in
And that team is your own personal favorite autumnal juggernaut, the New York Mets.
We don't get swept. We don't exit early. We don't go down without a fight. And we've made it enough to not be considered a Marlinesque fluke.
We are No. 1 at this sort of thing as long as this sort of thing is defined narrowly enough to make us feel as good as possible.
But it's true. We've won the following number of games in our seven respective postseason appearances:
No other team that made more than token postseason appearances has managed that much staying power every single time they show up for October baseball.
We've played 14 postseason series and won nine of them. We took three of those we lost to a seventh game. We took one of those we lost to the eleventh inning of a sixth game. We were eliminated from a best-of-seven in five games once, but none of our four losses in that series was by more than two runs.
The Mets give us our passion's worth in October. And they've given us seven Octobers. Not as many as we'd like, but this is no fly-by-night operation when the going gets tough (and the clichés start flying). When we get to this stage, we don't always win, but we never lie down. Roger Angell was right when he wrote, “The Mets go melodramatic in October, it's in their genes.” Those genes seem to fit our disposition quite nicely.
It's quiet for us this October, but at least somewhere in the back of our collective mind, the upper deck is rumbling and we can't sit still.