Thursday night’s game at Dodgers Stadium was almost something unthinkable, unexplainable and also unkind to every Mets’ fan’s blood pressure, which was jumping nervously everywhere around the world.
These are the moments that sports fans crave, when fans’ passion for a particular team rolls over. Playoffs are not a guarantee in sports. Especially not in baseball, where only a third of the teams make the playoffs. Game 5 was a testament to fortitude for the Mets, who were on the road and labeled as slight underdogs, facing a NL Cy Young candidate in Zack Greinke.
But this is why we love sports. After blowing a chance to send the Dodgers packing in Game 4, the Mets were able to regroup and ride the arm of Jacob deGrom who gutted out an amazing 6 innings. On the offensive side, the bat, brain and legs of Daniel Murphy almost single-handedly led the Mets to a Game 5 victory.
Yesterday I published a Facebook status that wrote “Game 5 tonight at Dodger Stadium. These are the moments as a sports fan you dream for.” Somewhere in this game, a moment would spark a team that would lead to a vivid memory for the rest of our lives. So far, this status for Mets’ fans especially, rains true.
It illustrates what happened was a bang on. Every die-hard Mets fan is going to remember something in that game for the rest of their lives. Whether it’s Daniel Murphy’s brilliance to go from first to third on a walk, or Familia’s absurd wizardry of completing a 6-out save. Every inning on Thursday night felt as if it would end in a photo finish, clearly revealing what’s at stake.
Tonight, the Mets reward is to face the Chicago Cubs, who are aiming for their first World Series since 1945. It is a matchup of two teams in baseball who throughout the years, have had some of the worst luck a sports franchise could ever imagine. In a way, these teams are kind of symmetrical. Cubs haven’t won the World Series since 1908, while the Mets might have still been titleless if it weren’t for the Mets taking advantage of the Curse of the Billy Goat in 1969 and the curse of Babe Ruth in the Mets 1986 World Series victory.
Also interesting to note, 2003 was the last time the Cubs were in the NLCS, where they held home field advantage despite the Florida Marlins having a better record. Things will be reversed in the 2015 NLCS this time around as the Mets will have home advantage and the Cubs not only have the better record, but they also swept the Mets in the season series 7-0.
With all things considered, I think we are in for a classic NLCS that no doubt will consist of a few twists and turns.