During their run for their second Super Bowl Championship, the New York Football Giants had their backs against the wall.
With Phil Simms out for the season, Big Blue was forced to ride untested Jeff Hostetler in the playoffs. Needless to say, most counted the Giants out.
But after they won their first playoff game against the Chicago Bears, camera’s caught Lawrence Taylor on the sidelines mockingly saying, “They said the Giants were dead. I don’t get it?”
Two memorable wins later and the second Lombardi Trophy came to the Meadowlands.
So what that great philosopher Lawrence Peter Berra said is definitely true, “You are never out of it, until you are out of it.” And for the last two days, the New York Mets are showing everyone, who wrote them off, they are still National League Champions.
“We’ve had a tough, tough time,” manager Terry Collins said to reporters in San Francisco. “But if you’re going to win, your good players have got to play good. You look what Noah (Syndergaard) did tonight, what (Yoenis Cespedes) has done the last couple of games, we ride those guys. Hopefully this is the start of what we’ve been looking to do.”
If Collins is going to prove himself to be a modern day Mark Twain, then the Mets need guys to step up. Reports of their demise were greatly exaggerated thanks to Cespedes, who proved he is the man in the Mets lineup and can carry the team for the next month and a half, much like a the way a guy who just had his number retired by the club did in 2000.
What a Piazza-like two days. After two homers and three RBI yesterday, he golfed one out today to break a 0-0 tie and give the Mets the two runs they needed for the win.
“I haven’t had anybody that the ball comes off the barrel like that. I mean nobody,” Collins said to reporters. “I saw Barry (Bonds) for a lot of years in Pittsburgh. He hit a lot of home runs. But the ball just jumps off (Cespedes’) bat. As we’ve seen, when he’s healthy, he’s got all the talent in the world. That didn’t even look like it was a good pitch and he hit it that far. He golfed it. He’s been working on that. It finally paid off. That was a tee shot.”
And Syndergaard pitched like he did back in April and May, when he was unhittable. San Francisco could do nothing against his stuff to make it an easy win for New York.
“For the past month and a half, I feel like today was the first day I went out there and relaxed and had fun out there,” Syndergaard said to reporters. “I just kept things simple. The past month and a half I’ve been trying to think too far ahead. … I’ll throw two or three pitches in succession, and then my heart rate will start elevating a little bit. What I noticed today was being able to take a deep breath and get back on the mound and get back to the job at hand.”
So after Friday, when the Mets were dead and buried, there’s life, but now here comes the tough part. They have to go into St. Louis and win. The Cardinals hold a 4.5 game lead over the Mets for the second Wild Card. They have to win at least 2 of 3, but in all reality, a sweep is in order.
Here’s the tricky part, both Syndergaard and Bartolo Colon won’t be on the docket. With Jon Niese and probably Seth Lugo book-ending Jacob deGrom, the starting pitchers have to do something. Neise has to show he has something left and Lugo needs to give him the same performance he did on Friday.
And it can’t be the Cespedes show in St. Louis. Yes, he can carry the club, but Jay Bruce must come out of his month-long slumber, so they can finally show everyone they are for real.
Neil Walker will be gone for the series for the birth of his child, so Bruce needs to pick up the slack, as does Curtis Granderson, James Loney and Asdrubal Cabrera.
Who said the Mets were dead? They showed life thanks to Cespedes and Syndergaard. Now it’s time for the rest of the club to show they are for real.
It worked for the Football Giants in 1990. It needs to work for the Amazin’s in 2016.