by Paul West
Ladies and gentlemen, the New York Mets are going to the World Series. Yes, you read that correctly.
Fueled by opportunistic baserunning, superior pitching and the unconscious hitting of Daniel Murphy, the Mets didn’t just beat the 97-win Chicago Cubs: they swept them in four games, completing the sweep with an 8-3 win at Wrigley Field. The Mets homered three times in the game, and yes, one of them was by you-know-who. With an eighth-inning drive to center field, Murph broke Carlos Beltran‘s record with his sixth straight postseason game with a home run. He was grinning from ear to ear before he’d completed his follow-through, and by his own account he isn’t even sure how he got so hot. But the Mets’ best ‘pure hitter’ is seeing baseballs like beach balls, and he’s helped carry his team to their first franchise World Series since the 2000 Subway Series.
In their march to the pennant, the Mets beat some of the best pitchers in existence. Their young aces out-dueled the top tier of the Cy Young leaderboard: Jake Arrieta, Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw. They took down Jon Lester, one of the best lefties of his era. They won on the road and they won at home. They won big, and they won small. Emergent ace (and growing legend) Jacob deGrom went 3-0, all of them road wins, with a 1.80 ERA and a .205 opposing batting average–and he wasn’t even the biggest story. Lucas Duda, after struggling mightily for much of the postseason, broke out mightily in the pennant clincher with five RBIs, a blast to left-center and a couple of shift-busting ropes. Folk hero Wilmer Flores continues to quietly spray the field with line drives, while captain David Wright has quietly put together a solid postseason full of timely contributions. Closer Jeurys Familia continues to show he’s one of the best in all of baseball as he comes through night after night, and manager Terry Collins continues to show his evolution as an in-game strategist as he seems to push the right button at every turn.
There are still four wins to get to the Mets’ ultimate goal of their first World Series title since 1986. But for now, they get to relax, rest, and soak it all in while the American League Pennant is still decided. They’ve got a few days to decompress and celebrate a well-earned pennant. They sure have earned it.