The hard fought resiliency in the Division Series was extra gratifying for the Mets
Nobody said it was going to be easy.
And it wasn’t by any stretch of the imagination.
Heading into this Division Series against the Dodgers, the Mets were faced with the tall task of conquering two of the game’s best pitchers in Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw, two pitchers when combined can carry a team through any playoff run right to the pinnacle of the sport.
And for a few innings in game five on Thursday night, that notion became incredibly plausible again, as Greinke was dominating the Mets into the sixth inning.
But the Mets, with arguably a deeper pitching staff than the Dodgers from top to bottom, proved to be just as formidable as what really is the class of the National League from a pitching perspective.
That and the Mets resiliency from the most adverse conditions proved to be a successful formula in the club’s series victory over the Dodgers.
“It was true throughout the season, It was true in this series, It was true in this game,” Mets starter Jacob deGrom said after truly earning the game five win at Dodger Stadium on Thursday.
Their win on Thursday was certainly representative of their resiliency throughout the 2015 season. They notched 40 come-from-behind wins during the regular season and led the league in comeback wins after August 1.
In this series alone, the Mets came from behind in two of their three wins against the Dodgers, the final one being on Thursday when they scratched and clawed for two runs to overcome a 2-1 deficit and beat the game’s best pitcher in 2015.
“We grind it out, both on the mound today and at the plate,” David Wright said as he became drenched in beer and champagne at Dodger Stadium on Thursday night. “We knew runs were going to be at a premium, and it just seems like every day, somebody steps up, a new guy, to get that big hit or make that big pitch. Today was no different. Every day is somebody new, and that’s what makes this team dangerous.”
Wright was one of those guys who stepped up as a hero. His heroics came early in this series with a big two-run single in game one which at the time gave the Mets a 3-0 lead.
It ultimately proved to be the difference in the ballgame as the Mets went on to win that night 3-1.
But because the Mets had to battle the way they did for two of their three wins and overcome tremendous adversity when they lost Ruben Tejada to a broken leg and through debated controversy in game two, Wright believes this series win to be much more gratifying than when his team swept the Dodgers in the NLDS nine years ago.
“This is probably more gratifying and sweeter,” Wright explained.
Terry Collins agreed with Wright in that this playoff series win was indeed gratifying.
“This is what the game is all about,” the manager explained. “You are going against the best in the world. There’s nothing like it.”
Thursday’s win marked the second time the club has clinched a playoff series at Dodger Stadium. They’re 2-1 in such games in Chavez Ravine in franchise history. Overall, the Mets improved to 3-3 in winner-take-all games with their win on Thursday. They’re now 8-5 all-time when facing elimination in the postseason.
But for what the team has been through this season, and pretty much the last eight years, this one seems sweeter than a lot of those other wins when their backs have been against the wall.
And the postseason isn’t even over.