If the Mets are to win it all in the next week or so, they will obviously be crowned baseball champions of 2015. The work they put in February and March during spring training will be hailed as a period in which the championship seeds were planted.
But if we’re being honest with ourselves, we’ll know that Daniel Murphy and the rest of the Mets simply getting hot at the right time trumps any Port St. Lucie pepper session from a lazy Tuesday morning seven months ago.
There is little correlation from the Mets’ 3-1 win over the Nationals on April 6 to what will transpire in tonight’s Game 1 of the World Series in Kansas City (8:07 p.m., FOX), just as there is little correlation from the Mets’ five-game losing streak that occurred at the end of September and beginning of October, to tonight. What is most important is whether or not Murphy will continue to look at a Major League baseball as though it’s the size of a beach volleyball. What is important is whether or not the Mets’ pitching staff continues to throw like it did during the NLDS and NLCS.
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It doesn’t take a wire-to-wire effort anymore to win a World Series. Last year’s World Series champs — the San Francisco Giants — had a record of 88-74 in the regular season and went just 14-12 in September of that year. This year’s Mets didn’t quite flirt with 100 wins (they went 90-72) and at no point in the regular season were they viewed as an unstoppable juggernaut.
Today, they do look unbeatable — even against a Royals team that won 95 regular-season games. The Mets have shut down opposing teams’ offenses in the postseason as they allowed an average of just 2.5 runs per game against the Dodgers and Cubs.
But this time of year in baseball, all it takes is one off night to completely kill momentum.
Matt Harvey will look to keep things rolling for the Mets in Game 1.