.@Royals‘ pesky lineup won’t be intimidated by @Mets‘ power pitching: https://t.co/HB9Z7AWqyQ pic.twitter.com/8fsYHgCBjk — MLB (@MLB) October 26, 2015
The Mets have been in Major League Baseball for less than 50 years, and they made it to the World Series for the fifth time this past week, sweeping the Chicago Cubs out of the National League Championship Series in just four games. In fact, the Mets never even trailed the Cubs during the game. They open Tuesday night against the Kansas City Royals, by virtue of the fact that the American League won the 2015 All-Star Game. Thanks to another one of former commissioner Bud Selig’s odd impulses, the winning side becomes the league that hosts the World Series that fall.
As David Wright, the Mets’ captain, told the New York Times, “This is a long time coming.” Wright has been a Met since 2001, when he signed with the organization at the age of 17, just after the 2000 Subway Series between the Mets and the Yankees.
“I’m glad that I got a chance to kind of experience some of the misery with them along this road, because that champagne tastes a lot sweeter having gone through that, let me tell you.”
The most unusual story so far has been Daniel Murphy, who has hit home runs in six consecutive games, setting a playoff record in Major League Baseball. In the Mets’ Game 4 win in Chicago, he had four hits. Over the NLCS, he hit four home runs and batted .529. As Murphy told the New York Times, “I can’t explain it. It’s just such a blessing to be able to contribute to what we’ve been able to do.”
In 2000, when the Mets were last in the World Series, they lost in five games to the Yankees. They played at Shea Stadium then; now, they play at Citi Field, their home since 2009. In the six seasons since Citi Field opened, the Mets have only had losing seasons, and they have been asking their fans to be patient. As Jeff Wilpon, the team’s chief operating officer, told the Times, “Watching the fans like this – this is what I’m getting the most kick out of and the most fun, watching the fans enjoy this. We got four more wins now. Four more.”
Mets manager Terry Collins is the oldest in the major leagues, at 66. He has never appeared in a World Series, not as a player and not in his prior two stints as a major league manager. It was the style that the Mets bring to the field that sent the Cubs reeling. Their offense strikes, and strikes quickly. They scored in the opening inning of each of the four games in the NLCS, nine in total. They carried off the “ultimate sweep” by never trailing at all. This is rare in a seven-game series, and has only happened five other times in the entire history of Major League Baseball.
Since July 25, the Mets have led the National League in home runs, runs, and slugging percentage. They never beat the Cubs during the regular season – but they did not face them after July 25. The Cubs love to swing, though, and the Mets struck them out by mixing in off-speed pitches with their famed heat. For the Cubs, it’s next year once again, but the Mets are likely to walk away with all the hardware this fall.