i should be used to crushing disappointment by now. after all, i AM a recovering cleveland browns, indians, and cavaliers fan. i also, along with many other ohio sports fans, had to deal with the tragic john cooper era at ohio state, when losses to that team up north and in bowl games was pretty common. it was a time where former ohio state prez e. gordon gee actually called a tie with michigan one of the greatest wins in their history, or something equally stupid. i survived john elway’s infamous drive against the browns, jose mesa giving up game 7 for the tribe, and michael jordan applying the dagger to the cavaliers with “the shot”. it’s always something or someone keeping those teams from getting to the big game. that’s too many heartbreaking losses for a sports fan to take.
then the mets somehow make it to game 7, in spite of having only one consistently good pitcher in their whole playoff rotation. who really expected weaver and suppan to be as great as they were in the NLCS? i sure didn’t. you could make the argument that it was actually cards pitching coach dave duncan who was the real MVP of this series. there was absolutely no reason to believe that there would be a game 7. the cardinals had the edge in nearly every pitching matchup, but a funny thing happened on the way to the world series. john maine and oliver perez showed up in a big way in games 6 and 7, and gave the mets an excellent chance to end their six-year world series drought.
the expectations changed once the mets won game 6. we actually started believing that the mets could still win this NLCS. game 7 finally started. we looked at the way oliver perez was pitching and knew we had a chance. then endy chavez makes that outstanding catch to rob rolen of a home run. that was the turning point right there. it had to be. sure enough, the mets get runners on in the 8th. scoring position. no hits. yadier molina hits the home run for cardinals. yikes. ok. there’s still the 9th inning. the mets have runners on in the 9th. enough to win the game. but the big hit never comes. game over. that’s it. the mets are out and the cardinals are in.
i can’t believe that the ride is over for the mets. they had such a great year this year. i am so happy that they got as far as they did with only one solid pitcher in the rotation. it’s a credit to minaya, randolph, and the whole team that they didn’t make excuses and played hard with the guys who WERE healthy enough to participate in the series. if we can come away from this NLCS with two new quality starters for the starting rotation next year(in addition to a mostly healthy pedro and glavine), that’s even better.
this will take a while to get over. at some point, i will acknowledge how well the cardinals played in this series, and give them proper credit for their victory over the mets. i’m not there yet, because i’m still thinking about all the mets’ missed opportunities in this series. so please, cards fans, give me a little time here. the wound is still fresh.
tags: NLCS, Mets, Cardinals