Top Banner Ads
I'm beginning to get the feeling I'm watching a rerun. Yeah, yeah, yeah...Daniel Murphy hit another home run. And Jacob deGrom gutted out another victory. And Jeurys Familia was lights out again for another save. Maybe this is the reason that computers have "Control C" so that it makes things a bit easier. It seems like the Mets have a "Control C" of their own as they continue to get a great performance from one of their young starters and Familia has just been so dominant to finish things off. Murphy? Whatever he is eating, or drinking, I've got to get some of it. He is simply RED HOT, LOCKED IN and...if I were him...I would be hoping that this season would NEVER end.
With the 5-2 win in Game 3, the Mets have the Cubs on the brink and are but one game away from getting to the World Series.
Oh geez...he did it again! Daniel Murphy just has to be feeling it. Anyone who has ever played the game of baseball knows what it is to feel "locked in." And he is definitely locked in during this post season as he once again hit a home run, this time a three-run first inning bomb off Cubs ace Jake Arrieta. What is so impressive about Murphy's run is WHO his victims are - Clayton Kershaw (2), Zack Greinke, Jon Lester, and now Arrieta, who along with Greinke are the leading candidates to win this year's Cy Young Award.
And after Matt Harvey dominated the Cubs in Game 1, Noah Syndergaard duplicated the feat and just overpowered Chicago in Game 2. Another brilliant game by one of the Mets young guns...and Jacob deGrom is ready to take his turn in Game 3 on Tuesday in Chicago.
After all of the rhetoric about limitations and late arrivals, Matt Harvey made his pitch to be the ace of the staff as he was on top of his game and had great command to lead the Mets to a Game 1 victory over the Cubs. Harvey was very impressive...he had all of his pitches working...and he pitched into the eighth inning throwing only 97 pitches before yielding to Jeurys Familia with two outs.
Daniel Murphy continued his red-hot post season by hitting another home run to give the Mets the early lead in the first inning off southpaw Jon Lester. Murphy is NOT a home run hitter...he hit a career-high 14 during the regular season. But what makes his post-season run so impressive is WHO he has hit the home runs off of - Clayton Kershaw (2), Zack Greinke, and Lester. He is just "locked in." And he made a stellar play in the field to end the game. Murphy is doing what Carlos Beltran did in the 2004 season when he was "on loan" to Houston for the post season. It earned Beltran a huge free agent contract.
Daniel Murphy, who so often has caught the wrath of Mets fans for some of his...well...bonehead plays...almost singlehandedly got the Mets to the National League Championship Series. Murphy accounted for all three Mets runs against Zack Greinke including a go ahead home run...his third of the series and the difference in the game. But the play that was really the difference maker was stealing third base after advancing to second on a walk to Lucas Duda...taking advantage of a vacated third base because of the over-shift during the Duda at bat. That allowed Murphy to score the tying run when Travis d'Arnaud hit a fly ball to right field.
Jacob deGrom definitely took the mound without his "best" stuff...but he gutted it out and made the pitches when he needed to most. He yielded two early runs but then shut the Dodgers down even though he struggled in five of his six innings.
Noah Syndergaard made his first relief appearance and was lights out...just blowing the Dodgers away...even though he allowed a two-out walk in the seventh inning. It was a great move by Terry Collins and he could have used him for a second inning to pitch the eighth. But Collins chose to bring in Jeurys Familia to get a six-out save. The move worked, but it showed that there is NO confidence in any member of the bullpen other than Familia. It could prove to be a problem as the Mets advance to the next round as the Cubs have a power-packed and potent lineup that could shorten the game for the Mets starters.
The Mets have a stable of talented pitchers. But it seems like the Dodgers have reincarnated Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax. While the Mets can boast a staff of Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, and even a Zack Wheeler down the road, the dynamic duo of Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke have to make you think that the Dodgers have a little mound magic of their own.
It was bound to happen that Kershaw's post season woes would suddenly disappear. And they did. On three days rest the reigning Cy Young and MVP awards winner showed exactly why he is deserving of both. Kershaw took matters into his own hands and shut down the Mets in their home ballpark and enabled the Dodgers to force a sudden death Game 5 back in Los Angeles.
It was the first post season game at Citi Field and the roar of the crowd, more often than not, was some rendition of showing of disdain for Chase Utley. But there was plenty to make noise about thanks to the Mets offense as Curtis Granderson led the attack on the Dodgers pitching staff with two booming doubles that drove in five runs.
Travis d'Arnaud and Yoenis Cespedes both had three hits, each hitting a home run and driving in three...Cespedes hitting a three-run bomb into the second deck to lead the Mets to a 13-7 victory.
Matt Harvey did not have his good stuff...he was very hittable...but he battled through five innings and left with a 10-3 lead.
It happened in 1973...I was there. The Mets pitching staff had halted the attack of the Big Red Machine and the Reds had their backs against the wall in the National League Championship Series. Something had to give. Someone had to light a fire and get the Reds back in the series. That's when Pete Rose went in hard...VERY hard...into the Mets beloved shortstop Bud Harrelson to break up a double play. It did not break up the double play but it DID incite a riot at Shea Stadium.
Even after the players returned to their respective dugouts and bullpens, the raucous fans at Shea would not let up. When Rose went to take his position in left field, he was showered with all kinds of debris. It was actually a horrible display. The public address announcer made an announcement telling the fans that the game would be forfeited if they didn't stop. Finally, Tom Seaver, Cleon Jones, Willie Mays, and Rusty Staub - acting as goodwill ambassadors - walked out to left field and appealed to the fans to halt. The game resumed, the Mets won, but not before Rose claimed the title for the most hated athlete in New York...long before he became the most despised person in baseball period.
And now another has claimed the title that Rose so eloquently carried for so many years...and under some somewhat similar circumstances.
Well...it was better than advertised. The National League's reigning Cy Young Award Winner and MVP against the reigning Rookie of the Year. Clayton Kershaw, actually the winner of not one, not two, but three Cy Young Awards, took the mound with a purpose...trying to finally muster the same success in the post season as he has come to enjoy in the regular season. And Jacob deGrom, the phenom who was not on anyone's radar two years ago, climbed the Dodger Stadium mound also with a purpose...to show he was just as deserving to share the spotlight with Kershaw.
The two would put on quite a show...going head to head...strikeout for strikeout...each giving up a hit here and there...but leaving the opposing hitters shaking their heads while heading back to their respective dugouts. Daniel Murphy's fourth inning home run gave the Mets the lead and it would prove all that the Mets would need. Because as good as Kershaw was, deGrom proved to be that much better...finishing with 13 strikeouts over seven innings. He yielded five hits, two that were actually misplayed fly balls by Michael Cuddyer in left field. Kershaw struck out 11 Mets, but he tired in the seventh inning and left the game after walking the bases loaded with two outs.
It's playoff time and a lot of memories come flooding back. It's been nine years since the Mets have been here...and the only thing people can remember is the image of Carlos Beltran standing in the batter's box taking strike three from a young upstart named Adam Wainwright. And that's really unfair to Beltran...because there are so many other memories of the October events that lead to a World Series appearance.
OK...so the Mets are winners of the National League's Eastern Division. They will be playing the Dodgers in the first round of the playoffs next week. But has anyone noticed what is happening? The Mets came off a brutal homestand where they lost six of nine and went to Cincinnati to play the dreadful Reds. They ended up sweeping the Reds in the four-game series, with Game 3 the division clincher. So what do they do for an encore? They headed to Philadelphia and got embarrassed and swept in the three-game series by the lowly Phillies.
And now they get humiliated in a day-night doubleheader at the hands of the Nationals. The shame of it all is that Noah Syndergaard and Matt Harvey turned in the most dominating performance by a Mets duo in a doubleheader since Jerry Koosman and Don Cardwell upended the Pirates in a mid-season doubleheader in 1969. That was the famous doubleheader where both Mets starters won by a 1-0 score and each drove in the game's only run.