McDonald: Veteran Leadership Puts Mets On The Doorstep Of NL Pennant

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The shocked and sad faces at Wrigley Field told the story.

The crowd of 42,231 witnessed their beloved Cubbies dismantled by the Mets, 5-2 to put the Amazin’s one win away from the Pennant.

What’s even more unreal is how the Mets neutralized the Chicago lineup through the first three games. This time, they couldn’t solve Jacob deGrom in warmer weather and tonight, the Mets go for a sweep in a seven game series for the first time in their history.

“I think we’ll feel better after another win, that’s for sure. I think the last thing we could start doing is thinking beyond tomorrow,” said Mets Captain David Wright. who broke out last night with three hits. “Tomorrow’s the most important game, and hopefully we can close it out tomorrow.

“But this is an excellent team, and we’re playing good baseball. So the last thing you want to start doing is thinking about beyond tomorrow and all of a sudden you lose focus at the task at hand.”

Championship thinking by the Captain and it’s the leadership by the Met veterans that has put the club in this position. Although the Mets are considered a young team, their youth is in the pitching staff, while veterans like Michael Cuddyer, Curtis Granderson, Juan Uribe and Wright are steering the ship and keeping the Mets on an even keel.

“Because we understand just like we’ve won the first three games, these guys can win the next three games very easily,” Wright added. “This is an excellent team, and you give them room to win a game or streak along a couple good innings, and they’re going to get all the confidence in the world and expect to beat us three in a row. So it’s as simple as that.”

This is the difference between the Mets and the Cubs. Unlike the Amazin’s, Chicago doesn’t seem to have the same veteran presence on the club. Sure there are some former Red Sox like Quintin Berry, Jon Lester, and David Ross, but that pales in comparison to the Met leadership.

You can see it on the field. The Cubs have been overwhelmed and undisciplined. Last night’s go-ahead run came on a wild pitch strikeout by Michael Conforto and Daniel Murphy aside, their offense is coming from smart base running and manufacturing runs, not the home run, which is seems like the Cubs only method of scoring.

“I think it’s just we understand that, set aside what Murph is doing right now with hitting all the home runs, that normally in the postseason you try to play small ball,” Wright said. “You try to play for that one run, play for those two runs, especially with our pitching staff. So I think it was important early on, not just this series, but when the postseason started that we had to be a better base running team because that could be the difference between winning a postseason game and losing a postseason game.”

And that has put the Mets 27 outs away from the Pennant. Late last month, it looked like the Mets were just happy to get to the playoffs and anything else was gravy, but now they have a legitimate shot to win the World Series, which is making this October into a dream.

It has simply been Amazin’.


About the Author

Joe McDonald

Joe McDonald is the founder and former publisher of NY Sports Day. After selling to i15Media in 2020, he serves as the Editor-in-Chief and responsible for the editorial side of the publication. In the past, Joe was the managing editor of NY Sportscene magazine and assistant editor of Mets Inside Pitch. He has covered the Mets since 2004.

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