Oct 21

Mets’ Fans And Murphy Should Cherish The Moment

Daniel Murphy has no explanation why he has homered in six straight games during this incredible playoff run by the Mets. He did it again Wednesday night and was named NLCS MVP.

“If I knew, I would have done it six years ago,’’ said Murphy, whose first inclination when asked is to credit his teammates. “I can’t explain it. I’m just going to ride this.”

He’ll ride it into the Mets’ fifth World Series appearance in their history, which begins Tuesday in either Kansas City or Toronto. Nobody really cares where, just that their season will continue.

MURPHY:  Enjoying the moment. (Getty)

MURPHY: Enjoying the moment. (Getty)

I wrote the other day how much I admired Murphy’s attitude, but said it was time he he took a bow after all the static he’s taken for his defense. He deserves this moment in the sun.

With Murphy’s unconscious streak comes the inevitable talk of whether the Mets will sign him long-term or to a qualifying offer. I’ve written it also, but on second thought, what does it matter?

Eventually, I’ll write it again. And, about bringing back Yoenis Cespedes and how he hurt his left shoulder and had to leave the game last night. Or, what’s going on with David Wright’s back. And, what workload the Mets’ starters might have next season. Or, what GM Sandy Alderson will do about rebuilding his bullpen.

There are a lot of things to review about this season, including whether Terry Collins will be named manager of the year. (He should). You guys know me, you know I’ll address them. But, at least for today I don’t want to hear them. I don’t care about next season.

This is a moment to be savored, to be cherished. It is a moment that prompted somebody online to write how he wished he was five-years-old again so he can grow up to be a Mets fan. How precious is that?

“This city deserves it,” said an exuberant Wright, who trusted Alderson and Jeff Wilpon, who promised him good times were within reach.

“This organization deserves it. The players deserve this. … I can’t describe the emotions that are going through me right now.”

The offseason news can wait a few more weeks. The topics will still be there; they aren’t going anywhere.

The last time the Mets were in the World Series was 2000. Before that, it was 1986. Before that, it was 1973 and 1969. Do you sense a trend here?

Wright said this team was a combination of the 1969 Miracle Mets and 1973 Tug McGraw, “Ya Gotta Believe,” team.

When Wright went to the playoffs in 2006, he thought it would be that way every year. However, he learned how fleeting a moment this can be. As Mets followers, we understand that.

We follow the Mets because we love that team. The reasons why, don’t matter. We just do. It is in our DNA.

However, despite the Mets’ young pitching, nothing is a given. Nothing. We don’t know about the future. None of us do.

So, let’s not worry about something beyond our control. Let’s enjoy this, as this is a rare and precious time.

It could be our best time.



Oct 20

DeGrom Does It Again; So Does Murphy

In the end, the ball getting lost in the Wrigley Field ivy turned out to be a footnote. Daniel Murphy homered for the fifth straight game, but even that wasn’t the headliner. But, in the end, as it has been this October, the real story was Jacob deGrom.

The Cubs homered twice off deGrom and had him on the ropes early, but as he did in Game 5 of the NLDS, he would not cave.

DeGROM: Does it again. (GETTY)

DeGROM: Does it again. (GETTY)

DeGrom has won his three postseason starts despite laboring in his last two. However, tonight he closed strong to complete seven innings, giving up two runs on four hits with seven strikeouts.

After a 29-pitch first inning, deGrom settled in and kept the ball low in the strike zone with his secondary pitches.

“In the first inning I was not locating my fastball,’’ deGrom said. “I made an adjustment early in the game and went to my off-speed pitches.”

In addition to deGrom and Murphy, the Mets manufactured a couple of runs. And, of a potential sign of things to come, David Wright and Yoenis Cespedes each had three hits.

The Mets will take a three-games-to-none series lead and can reach their fifth World Series in franchise history if they wrap it up Wednesday night behind Steven Matz. There have been 34 teams in history to take a 3-0 series lead and only one, the 2004 Yankees, failed to win.

“We’re not worried about that,’’ said Wright. “We’re worried about beating the Cubs tomorrow. … As we have won three games in a row, they can win three in a row. They have a good team over there.’’

It would be advantageous for the Mets to wrap this up tomorrow, as Kansas City has a 3-1 lead over Toronto in the American League. The World Series is scheduled to begin, Oct. 27, in the American League stadium.

The Mets need to put this away tomorrow as it will enable them to rest both deGrom and Matt Harvey, the scheduled Game 5 starter, who has a deep bruise on the back of his throwing arm.

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Oct 20

Mets Lineup, Game 3, NLCS

Here is the Mets’ lineup for Game 3 of the NLCS tonight in Chicago:

Curtis Granderson – RF
David Wright – 3B
Daniel Murphy – 2B
Yoenis Cespedes – CF
Lucas Duda – 1B
Travis d’Arnaud – C
Michael Conforto – LF
Wilmer Flores – SS
Jacob deGrom – RHP

COMMENTS: Up 2-0, there’s no reason to substantially change anything. … There was some thought as to dropping Wright in the order, but to where?  Keep him second and hope he snaps out of it. And, whatever Murphy is doing keep everything the same. Don’t even change his socks. … They really aren’t doing anything with Cespedes and Duda, are they?

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Oct 20

DeGrom Says Fatigue Not A Factor

Fatigue has been an underlying issue for Mets pitchers in the second half of the season and playoffs, but Game 3 starter Jacob deGrom is hearing nothing about it.

The Mets’ All-Star pitcher cruised through the Dodgers in Game 1 of the NLDS with 13 strikeouts, but labored in Game 5 stranding five runners in scoring position.

DEGROM: Poised and ready. (Getty)

DEGROM: Poised and ready. (Getty)

However, he never gave up that one hit that could have changed the Mets’ season.

I felt fine the whole time,’’ deGrom said. “The adrenaline definitely helps. This is the most I’ve thrown in a year. It’s tough to say if I had this many innings in the regular season how I’d feel. But, I think playoff time, the adrenaline definitely kicks in.’’

The Mets can take a 3-0 games stranglehold on the NLCS with a victory tonight behind deGrom, who clearly knows what is at stake.

Only one team in history – the 2004 Yankees – lost a 3-0 series lead.

“I think we have a lot of confidence going into this game,’’ deGrom said. “We matched up well against two great pitchers and we got a chance to take a 3-0 lead tomorrow. The guys are putting up runs for us, and our job is just to keep it close and let them do what they’ve been doing.’’

Confidence, however, is measured in part by an ability to forget.

In three career starts against the Cubs, deGrom is 0-2 with a 6.46 ERA, including giving up eight runs in 10 innings at Wrigley Field. In his seventh start of this season, deGrom gave up four runs on five hits and four walks in five innings.

After that game, deGrom went on a 16-start run where he posted a 1.44 ERA and opposing hitters batted .167 against him.

“I haven’t looked back at it too much,’’ deGrom said. “I know they weren’t very good starts. I’m going to flush that. I know this is the playoffs, so it’s going to be a good start for me.

“That’s what we play for. We play to get this chance, and you never know how many times you’re going to get it. So when you get this chance you want to make the best of it.’’

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Oct 19

Mets’ Series Lead Could Enable Harvey To Rest

In addition to the historical percentages of advancing to the World Series, winning the first two games of the NLCS against Chicago, gives the Mets the advantage of bypassing the injured Matt Harvey in Game 5 if necessary.

Harvey took a line drive off the bat of Dexter Fowler to the back of his pitching arm in the sixth inning of Game 1, and already, manager Terry Collins is alluding to possibly of starting Jon Niese or Bartolo Colon.

HARVEY:  Questionable for Thursday. (Getty)

HARVEY: Questionable for Thursday. (Getty)

“He’s pretty sore and pretty swelled up,’’ Collins said Monday at Wrigley Field. “He, as we sit here today, is a go. But that could certainly change in the next couple of days.

“I was pretty surprised at how swelled up it was yesterday. So we certainly are going to keep a really close eye on it the next couple of days.’’

Of course, the Mets want to wrap this up as soon as possible, but if they win one of the next two games, they’ll be sitting pretty with a 3-1 series edge heading into Game 5.

Harvey, who won his first two postseason starts, played catch today. Harvey’s innings became a focal point at the end of the season, but if he’s held back Thursday, it will have nothing to do with his workload.

Harvey stayed in the game after he was struck, and pitching coach Dan Warthen said that was beneficial because it enabled him to keep his arm stretched out.

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