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The New York Mets’ 2016 baseball season lasted 163 games, ending last Wednesday when Jeurys Familia gave up a three-run homer to Conor Gillaspie in the ninth inning of the National League Wild Card Game. The Mets hitters couldn’t figure out how to deal with San Francisco Giants’ ace Madison Bumgarner, who pitched a shutout.

I won’t lie – it was a frustrating loss. But several days later, I’m willing to tip my cap to Bumgarner and the Giants. They were the better team on Wednesday, though they’re standing on the brink of elimination from the National League Division Series. The Giants ran into a team that’s better than them in the Chicago Cubs. That’s how baseball is supposed to work…and sometimes it does.

Terry Collins took a team to the postseason, if only for three hours, with a rotation that included unheralded rookies Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo, along with ageless veteran Bartolo Colon and the Mets’ one enduring ace, Noah Syndergaard. He patched together an infield that included just one Opening Day starter. And somehow, he kept everyone believing that a playoff push was possible when common sense said to start planning for 2017. If that’s not worthy of Manager of the Year consideration, I don’t know what is.

So now we wait and watch to see who will be crowned the 2016 World Series Champ, even though it won’t be the Mets. I’m rooting for Daniel Murphy and his Washington Nationals teammates, but I could see myself switching over to Justin Turner‘s Dodgers if the Nats don’t make it.

The Mets have a host of important roster decisions to make this winter…the team that starts 2017 may not bear much resemblance to the one that finished 2016. That’s ok, and it makes for an interesting hot stove season.

Meanwhile, I have a bunch of baseball cards to sort, checklists to update and autograph request letters to write.

Posted in Baseball

We want playoffs

 

sunset
A September Citi Field sunset (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

 

The New York Mets wrapped up their regular season home schedule with a 17-0 rout of the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday. I made it to two of their 81 home contests, my fewest since Citi Field opened.

I’m ok with that, though I wish I’d gone to at least one game on my own so I could wander around the ballpark without annoying anyone else. I have less patience for the travel – going to a game in Queens means I spend almost as much time on trains as I do watching baseball. And I have to admit, the ballpark was easier to get around when there weren’t 30,000+ people there most nights.

Back in April, I think we all had visions of the Mets repeating as National League East champions and going back to the World Series, this time to win it all. The second part of that dream could still happen, but Daniel Murphy is the only one who got to celebrate two consecutive division titles. Continue reading “We want playoffs”

Posted in Baseball

An almost perfect knight

Jon Lester had the postseason experience, but last night our Dark Knight arose to the occasion and was better than the hype.

Matt Harvey flirted with a perfect game into the fifth inning and pitched into the eighth inning, striking out nine while limiting the Cubs to just two runs on four hits. Meanwhile, Lester gave up solo home runs to Daniel Murphy and Travis d’Arnaud among eight hits over 6 2/3 innings¬†en route to¬†his fifth career postseason loss. (At least one baseball columnist suggested that the Cubs might want to stop payment on Lester’s next paycheck.)

Continue reading “An almost perfect knight”

Posted in Baseball

Tonight

The New York Mets’ 2015 season will have at least four more games, beginning tonight.

Matt Harvey will face Jon Lester in a battle of “supposed to be” aces (let’s face it, Jacob deGrom and Jake Arrieta are their respective teams’ true aces) … which should be pretty fun, assuming every Cubs baserunner (or the lack of Mets baserunners) doesn’t leave me looking for the bottle of antacids.

Let’s go Mets!