Monday, October 19, 2015

Not Quite Chicken Counting

As recommended, Kevin and I took the subway (separately) to yesterday's Game 2 of the National League Championship Series, between the Mets and Cubs.

A sick passenger fell exiting the Flushing Local at 40th Street-Lowry Street and I had to back-track to Queensboro Plaza to catch an express going around the out-of-service train. That was pretty much the last bad thing to happen, as the Mets would later go up two games to none in the seven-game series.

Right now, it is easy to feel confident about the Mets going to the World Series. I wasn't always so sure. Kevin and I also attended the Mets final game of the season. After the team beat the Nationals 1-0 on a Curtis Granderson home run, it circumnavigated Citi Field, the final gesture of the 2015 Fan Appreciation Weekend.

They ambled along as lethargicly as they had played in the final two series of the season. The Mets won a single game against the Phillies and Nationals and were out-scored 19-10. Sure, they beat up on the Reds in the previous series but in general, the team seemed to have regressed to the low-wattage performance of the first-half of the season.

I wasn't sure the Mets could beat the Dodgers in the division series, although as a fan I picked them to do so in five games. Melvin predicted L.A. would win in four. He correctly foresaw the Cubs besting the Cardinals in four games, while I assumed St. Louis would be spoilers because they seem to have a special knack for that.

In the other divisional match-ups, Melvin picked the Astros and I sided with the Royals, both of us thinking the series would go five games, which it did. We both predicted the Blue Jays would sweep the Rangers and they did win three in a row, but it was the last three. Now the Royals and Mets have each won both of the first two games in the league championship series.

Last night's 4-1 win again featured Daniel Murphy, who has not only homered in four consecutive playoff games but done so against four of the best pitchers in baseball; Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta. Kershaw is a three-time Cy Young Award winner and Greinke and Arrieta are candidates to win this year.

Granderson robbed Chris Coghlan of a homer in the second, as exciting to watch as Murphy's blasts. Noah Syndergaard struck out nine and held the Cubs to three hits, silencing even Kyle Schwarber's bat (.381/.435/.952 after last night). It was really cold; I might as well get that in here somewhere.

Arriving at Game 81 at Citi Field, Kevin and I were appalled to see the Mets were selling the empty sparking wine bottles from the locker room celebration of clinching the National League East. You can buy a 750ML bottle of Freixenet Cava Brut Blanc De Blancs for nine bucks but an empty—authenticated by Major League Baseball, of course—will cost you $100, or 15 dollars for just the cork. The Mets are literally selling us their trash.

Later this week, the Mets may be able to restock their inventory of empty bottles. Or, maybe, they will wonder next weekend how the championship series got away from them.

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