It's been nine long years, but the Mets are finally back in the playoffs. I didn't expect it this season, but I also didn't expect how great the young starters would be, especially after Zack Wheeler went down for the year. But Jacob deGrom showed he was not a fluke, Matt Harvey did better than expected in his first season back from Tommy John surgery and Noah Syndergaard fanned 166 in 150 innings. The Mets have the pitching to take them to the World Series. Unfortunately, so do the Dodgers.
Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke can be beaten - the Mets won two of the four games this season in which they faced them. The final scores were 3-2 and 2-1 and the opposing pitchers were deGrom and Syndergaard, just like they will be in Games 1 and 2 of the NLDS (during the season, deGrom faced Greinke and Syndergaard faced Kershaw). All four starters pitched well and none figured in the decisions.
Kershaw has also lost his last four postseason starts with an ERA over 7. It would seem that he's too great a pitcher not to regain his form, but David Price was expected to reverse his latest postseason struggles yesterday against Texas and instead fell to 0-6 in the postseason.
It's been such a magical season for the Mets that even a late season no-hitter against them by Max Scherzer brought up memories of Bob Moose's late-season no-hitter against the Mets in 1969, just before they went on their postseason run to the world championship. The 1969 team had two star pitchers, Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman, and a promising rookie, Gary Gentry. The 2015 Mets have deGrom, Harvey and Syndergaard. Both of these teams also could boast yet another promising young pitcher outside the top three. Granted, Steven Matz is not likely to be another Nolan Ryan, and the other starters have a way to go before we start comparing them to Seaver, but the current staff has the potential for a magical run.
What worries me is whether the same can be said for the hitters. After getting hit by a pitch on September 14, Yoenis Cespedes had no homers and two RBI in his last 16 games while his batting average dropped 22 points. When Cespedes is quiet, the Mets' rejuvenated offense is not so rejuvenated.
I hope I'm wrong, but I think Kershaw and Greinke will be too much for the Mets, so Dodgers in four. Squawker Lisa is also predicting the series will end in four.
No, my mistake, she's just yelling "Fore!" on the golf course.
Speaking of the Yankees, their late-season hitting woes ended up giving them little chance against Dallas Keuchel, which is exactly the scenario that worries me against Kershaw and Greinke. But if the Mets can manage a split in L.A. and Harvey shows in Game 3 that he's worth the aggravation, the Mets can keep the magic going. Let's go Mets!