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HOW SWEEP IT IS

October 22, 2015, Queens, NY  If you told anyone before the National League Championship Series began that the victor would win by sweep, you would have bet the farm on the Cubs. All you needed to know was during the regular season, the Cubs swept the Met, seven games to zero. But you know what they say about payback. Payback is a Witch. And a Wicked Witch at that. A Wicked Witch with a Broomstick.

The Cubs were Cocky. Cocky before the series with the Mets. Cocky after losing the first game to Matt Harvey. (The Cubs had the nerve to think Harvey was scared of them because he didn’t give them a steady diet of fastballs. How dumb.) Cocky for game two when Jake Arrieta took the mound. Cocky going back to Chicago’s Wrigley Field. But not Cocky after the top of the first inning of last night’s game. Cockiness took a vacation. And now, so have the Cubs.

This was a most sweet victory for the beleaguered Mets. They have been a team in turmoil, especially when the Wilpons became fiscally conservative in the late 2000 zeroes. This team doesn’t have the characters that the 1986 World Series Champions had. This team doesn’t have that “You Gotta Believer” swag of 1969. But what this team does have that makes it/them special is they are “improbable” not “impossible” winners. It’s not like they couldn’t win it all; it was just highly unlikely.

Of course you knew they would win the National League East over the hyper-favorites, Washington Nationals. Of course you knew they were going to spank the Los Angeles Dodger with their bloated payroll and Cy Young-esque pitching duo of Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw.  Of course you knew they were going to beat Theo Epstein’s Frankenstein incarnate, the Chicago Cubs—with all that hitting talent and uber manager, Joe Maddon.

HOW SWEEP IT IS!

HOW SWEEP IT IS!

Of course you knew all along the Mets were going to the Worl cond Series.

With a sample size of 100+ games played, the Mets were 52-50. That’s pretty much a .500 team.  Three months later, they’re off to play in what sports marketer extraordinaire Kyle Greene calls: The World Serious (not Series, more on that in a subsequent article).

Excuse my back!

Excuse my back!

Murphy hit his sixth homer in as many post season games, a first, and was named the MVP. The relief pitching was strong even if reliever Tyler Clippard gave up a two-run bomb. Terry Collins continued to press all the right buttons. David Wright provided leadership. Curtis Granderson provided energy. And Yoenis Cespedes was still the solidifying force in the line up–even though he only played two innings.

Queens can celebrate. New York can celebrate. Baseball can celebrate. The Mets are back. How Sweep It Is.

Professor Clifford Benton can be reached at @cliffordbenton.

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