By: Paul DiSclafani
It’s been three days since the Mets lost the World Series and I’m still not over it. Are you?
I’m not complaining. I’m not going to bitch and moan or second guess what happened in the World Series. What is that going to accomplish? The only thing that matters is the final result and the KC Royals won four of the five games. End of story. That’s it.
Sure we can lament that we led in two of those games in the ninth inning and in one of them it was the eighth inning. Does that get us another three outs?
Psychologists tell us that most people go through five stages of grieving when losing a loved one. Mets fans have been collectively grieving ever since the end of Game 5. The stages of grief don’t necessarily come to all people in the same order, but you will need go through them all before you can get on with your life. Maybe we can do that together?
And we will move on. Most of us have had our lives disrupted ever since the playoff started, I know I have. I was lucky enough to have attended all seven home postseason games. All were exciting, some ended sadly. But I wouldn’t have traded it for a minute – well maybe that LAST game…
How could the Mets lose? The Royals outplayed them in only one game, Game 2, and even in that game the Mets held a 1-0 lead into the fifth inning. The Royals couldn’t beat Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, right? Who cares about that not-striking-out nonsense. Ok, they gave away Game 1 when they beat Harvey and Familia, that’s not going to happen again. Game 4 was an aberration because Murphy made an error in the eighth inning. That’s not going to happen again. Harvey was pitching shutout ball in Game 5, he has to come out and finish it in the ninth inning. What could go wrong? We are set up back in KC with deGrom for Game 6 and Syndergaard in Game 7. I love our chances.
An inside-the-park-home-run on the first pitch? Come on … Bases loaded in a 1-0 Game 5 and the Mets can only score one run … Cespedes looks more like a soccer player than a centerfielder … Murphy with two crucial errors at 2B … Can d’Arnaud make one throw to second base to get a stealer? Every single or walk turned into a double … As John Belushi would say in “Animal House”: Cuddyer-dead!, Clippard-dead! … Collins used Uribe to PH just once in five WS games, Plywecki never batted – that’s three guys on the bench we never used … They didn’t beat us, we beat ourselves.
If we don’t allow Clippard to walk TWO batters in the eighth inning of Game 4, maybe Familia could get out of it for a 5-out save … If we don’t let Cespedes hit after fouling a ball off his kneecap, maybe Uribe gets a hit there and blows the game open … If we let Harvey and deGrom pitch to their strengths in Game 1 and 2, we might have gotten a split … If we had only played the Blue Jays instead … If we had won Game 1 and 4, this would have been OUR clinching game.
Now what? This was a wonderful opportunity to win the whole thing. Our pitching staff was fairly healthy for the entire season (Wheeler not withstanding) and the Nationals tanked. In baseball there are no guarantees. The 1986 Mets won 108 games in the regular season and missed the playoffs in 1987 because of injuries. You think the Nationals are going to lay down and die two years in a row? The Pirates/Cubs/Cardinals are going to lock up two Wild Card spots again, so if you want to make the postseason, you will most likely have to win your division. Cespedes, Murphy, Colon and others will be free agents. The Yankee fans all have little smirks on their faces…
There is not a single thing you can do or say that gets the Mets to Kansas City to play a Game 6. The 2015 season is over, like it or not. We can go back over all the minutia or we can just look back and remember how great the month of August was. Remember when we got Ceepedes? Remember that weekend sweep of the Nationals at Citi Field that got us into a First Place tie? Flores hitting that extra-inning home run? Then a few weeks later, we went into Washington with a 3-game lead and they put up a 7-spot against Harvey, but the Mets came all the way back when Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit a HR?
And remember the smile on your face and the bounce in your step when they clinched the division in Cincinnati? Then we beat the Dodgers to get to the NLCS, where we enacted revenge on the Cubbies – how must those guys feel? 1908 – 1908!!!
And heading into Citi Field for that first playoff game, the pure joy and excitement? Waving those towels every time there were two strikes? Having to stand for most of the game and never complaining? It was cold, it was nerve-wracking, it was the most fun we’ve ever had with clothes on (many layers, I might add).
I know, I know, they lost. They had a great chance of being World Champions, but just couldn’t get it done. It happens. I’m not saying we should be happy just to have been there, but we should have been. We won our division and we won two playoff series. Personally, I think we ran out of gas.
It happens. I think I’m OK with it now. I’ve just gone through all the five stages of grief with you. We’ve done it together! As Tom Petty sings, “Time to move on, time to get going…”
We waited 15 years to get back to the World Series and they lost. In two World Series appearances since 1986, the Mets are 2-8. They just can’t seem to do it on the big stage. They work so hard and, and, and ….
I think I’m in denial again. 103 days till pitchers and catchers report to Port St. Lucie…