McDonald: The Met Heatbreak Doesn’t Seem Fair, But It’s A Fact Of Life

It just doesn’t seem fair.

One hundred and sixty two games and all the ebbs and flows of a season that goes for that long and it all comes down to one game.

One game and whoever has the best pitcher wins.

And with a team like the Giants that has a pedigree of winning in even years and Madison Bumgarner on the mound, going all nine, the cards were stacked against the Mets.

“There are not a lot of teams that have good success against him,” said Mets manager Terry Collins.  “Make no mistake about it, this guy has no fear and we went up there swinging and he’s that good.”

That’s the game, though, the way Major League Baseball intended it. If you don’t like the one game Wild Card, well then win your division and leave the play-in game for others.

The Yankees learned that the hard way last season, getting shut out by the Astros and now the Mets have a similar fate in 2016.

For eight and a third innings, the Mets were able to match the postseason’s best pitch for pitch. Noah Syndergaard was masterful, going seven innings of two hit ball and establishing himself as a big game pitcher.

“I got to rank this one tonight as good as any,” Collins said. “Great command and focus. He stepped up when you needed him. He has grown so much as a pitcher. He’s very, very good.”

But on a night you had to be perfect, Jeurys Familia wasn’t. His gopher ball to Conor Gillespie in the ninth inning was the difference in the game. Fifty one saves on the season just wasn’t enough for the big closer and although his regular season performance over the past two campaigns was fantastic, his last two October series were sketchy.

In the World Series last year, he blew three saves and then this disappointment tonight.

But what was Collins going to do? The Mets put their best out there and came up snake-eyes.

Familia needs to turn this around. If their pitching stays healthy next year, the Mets will be in it again and they will need their big closer to make the big saves in the postseason.

But you have to wonder what Met team we will see in the future. The club went through a ton of changes this season and there will be questions to be answered over the next few months.

However, those can wait. The hurt is just too fresh and too new to worry about a campaign like this again. A one game season will do this to you, wondering what could have been and how could this have been prevented.

The real truth is though nothing could be done to change this. Bumgarner was just too good and pitching-wise there was nothing to second guess out there.

The Mets were beaten in a one game playoff by a better pitcher.

If this was a three game series or even a five game affair, the smart money would have been on the Mets.

But it’s not and the Giants get a date in Chicago with the Cubs and the Mets feel the same pain that the Yankees felt last year or the Pirates did for a couple of season.

It doesn’t seem fair, but that’s life.

The Mets knew it and now it’s onto the long winter.

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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