Can the Mets beat Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, two of the best pitchers in the National League in the first two games of the Division Series?
Hell yes. They can do it because they are throwing Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard, who are also two of the best pitchers in the National League. They also have Matt Harvey going in Game 3.
DeGROM: It begins with him tonight. (Getty)
The Dodgers have been in the playoffs in recent years and made early exits, and they’ve done it with Kershaw. There’s nothing new about them that suggests this year will be any different.
The Mets on the other hand have been on a roller coaster ride this season to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2006. I’ve written it several times this summer – when I’m not tweaking Harvey (yeah, yeah, I know I get on him a bit) – that this can be a team of destiny.
Think about how many significant players who’ve been out at times because of injuries: David Wright, Lucas Duda, Travis d’Arnaud, Zack Wheeler, Josh Edgin, Jerry Blevins, Michael Cuddyer and Bobby Parnell.
All important players they couldn’t afford to lose, yet here we are, hours away from Game 1 of the NLDS.
How many playoff teams entered the season without a commitment to a shortstop? I can only think of one, and that’s the Mets. Yet, here we are. Wilmer Flores took to the position, was almost traded, and then captured our hearts with his tears.
The Mets lost their closer Jenrry Mejia to suspension, yet Jeurys Familia stepped in to tie a club record in saves. He could be the team’s MVP. That stuff doesn’t usually happen.
The Mets don’t have a traditional lefty specialist, yet they are finding a way.
This is a team that didn’t have a leadoff hitter, yet Curtis Granderson stepped in and produced to the point where he could be the Mets’ MVP, if not Familia. Championship teams always have that one player who expands his role, that for the Mets, that’s Granderson.
They lose Wright for nearly five months, yet in his first at-bat off the DL he hits a homer. You don’t call that storybook?
To get to the playoffs this year, the Mets needed to play even with the Nationals. I don’t want to hear that the Mets backed in because the Nationals choked. The Mets kicked the stuffing out of them to the point where the likely NL MVP, Bryce Harper, said he wants to win.
When the Mets were floundering in July, there was an infusion of new blood when Michael Conforto was called up, and the trades for Yoenis Cespedes, Kelly Johnson, Juan Uribe and Tyler Clippard.
There’s something special about this group that through the injuries and changing roles of players that it has persevered.
Special teams find a way to get it done despite the obstacles and that’s what this team has done.
So, to answer the first question, yes the Mets can beat Kershaw and Greinke. And, for that matter, they can beat anybody else, too.