2009 was supposed to be a one-time thing - an annus horribilis in which the Yankees and Phillies reached the World Series while the Mets, decimated by injuries, won only 70 games. Yet here we are a year later, with the healthier Mets still likely to finish well below .500 while the Phillies and Yankees are back on track for a Fall Classic rematch.
The Phillies have won ten in a row and are 17-3 in September. They are six games better than anyone else in the National League. In a short series, nobody will be able to match their starting pitching. Roy Halladay is tied for first in the NL in wins and strikeouts and is third in ERA. Cole Hamels has a 1.89 ERA and 0.93 WHIP since the All-Star break. Roy Oswalt is 7-1 with a 1.96 ERA since joining the Phillies at the end of July.
Despite their own wave of injuries, with Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino all missing time, the Phillies are third in the league in runs scored.
So the Phillies have a great shot at getting back to the World Series for the third year in a row. They are about to win the NL East for the fourth year in a row, which will be only one fewer division title than the Mets have won in their history.
The Yankees have had some ups and downs lately and there are no guarantees in the postseason, but is anyone really prepared at this point to predict Minnesota, Texas or Tampa Bay in the World Series?
And this year, the previous round could also be very unpleasant for Met fans if the NLCS matchup features the Phillies against old Mets nemesis Bobby Cox and the Atlanta Braves.
At least the Mets won't be completely forgotten during the postseason. On October 7, the second day of the playoffs, Francisco Rodriguez is due back in court.