From a Yankee fan whose had past experience, I say to a Met fan: You meaningful baseball in August and July? Now you go it.
Last night felt like the New York Mets clinched the division. But they haven't. Far from it. Though are the Mets serious contenders to take this division? You bet your asses there are.
But now the roller coaster begins, for the Metropolitans. August and September is gonna be the real test for this team. Can they battle night in and night out; playing every single game like it's a playoff game. Hey, as a crosstown rival fan, I've been through that. And it could be fun, but it could be very grueling.
The one true pennant race I've experienced in my lifetime as a Yankee fan, was the 2005 season, when the Yankees battled the Boston Red Sox for the A.L East. It was exciting each night, because every game felt so big, but at the same time when the Yankees were tied with Boston, and we lost and they won, and gain sole possession of first place, it was stressful.
The reason for that 2005 season being stressful was for that fact that they couldn't lose two or three games in a row. They had to keep fighting every single night. I remember late in that season, the Yankees were almost winning every single game by one run. They were scrapping wins.
That battle for the division in '05, came down to the end. Yankees ended up clinching the division at the last season series against Boston at Fenway.
If you look at the 2005 season standings now, you'll see the Yankees and Red Sox having the same record of 95-67 -- you might say: why is that? Yankees won the division, right? Well, the Yankees won the season series against the Red Sox that year. If two teams are tied in the division in the last same of the season, the winner of the division is decided by which division team beat the other team in the season.
In this case, the '05 Yankees won more season games against the Red Sox -- making the A.L East Champs.
It was a very complicated clinching game. But I didn't give damn -- I saw my team celebrating and on their way to October, which is all I care about.
That '05 season was worrisome for Yankee and Red Sox fans, since we thought they were only making the playoffs by winning the division. The Cleveland Indians had sole possession of the Wild Card and they were winning every single night. So it looked like the Yankees only chance making it to the postseason was by taking the East. Wrong, we were. Both Yankees and Red Sox made the postseason with Boston winning the Wild Card and the Indians collapsing at the last season series against the Chicago White Sox.
Just like the 2015 Mets and Nationals, it might come down to the N.L East for either of them to make the postseason.
Both Mets and Nationals are 2.5-games out of the N.L Wild Card, with Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants tied for the second spot and the Pittsburgh Pirates leading the first spot. It may not seem much of a hill to climb for either Mets or Nats, but I can't see the Giants or Cubs collapsing, to where they would give leeway to one of the N.L East teams. And the Pirates are staying where they're at.
So...like in 2005 with the Yankees, the Mets, ten years later, are gonna have to battle game-for-game this season to take that division. Are they ready for it?
The Mets showed me they can do this. Why? Because of the adversity they've had this season so far. The game at Washington where Bobby Parnell blew the lead in the either with two outs. The San Diego Padres game last week, when Justin Upton hit the three-run homerun in the ninth. Probably the two worst defeats of the season. But after all that, the Mets have manage to be tied in the N.L East.
The Mets have heart. They're resilient. But this run is gonna be difficult. I don't think the Nationals are gonna crawl up in a corner and give up. They're gonna fight back. Washington has too many veterans who've been their and done that. They have Jason Werth whose won and lost, in World Series. They have Max Scherzer, whose been in the postseason almost every year since he was a Detroit Tiger. Guys like that, are gonna make sure their team is ready to play.
Did you look at Bryce Harper's face at the end of that game? He looks like a player whose upset and ready to battle with the Mets.
The Mets have great, young pitching going for them. These aren't just a bunch of young, dumb pitchers with 99-mph fastballs -- they're special pitchers. A group of pitchers like this don't come around very often. And they're tough! Matt Harvey, Jacob DeGrom and Noah Syndergaard will battle you, even when they don't have their best stuff.
I never thought the Mets would need David Wright back -- but in this run the Mets are about to encounter, they need him. Wright needs to be in that clubhouse and in the lineup. Right now, this Met team needs someone whose been there before. Wright has through tough times with the Mets and needs to be a leader for the youngsters. Mets need Wright back.
This is something that's gonna be new for Met fans. I question if the players are ready for this -- but are the fans ready for this? It's almost gonna be new to them, to have a pennant chase like this, were every game is a must-win. Well, ready or not, buckle up, Met fans.
Like Terrell Owens once said: "Get your popcorn ready."