Regular readers of this blog know that I will tag my prediction posts with the end line, "Of course, I could be wrong", largely because 9 times out of 10, I usually am wrong.
Today, I couldn't be happier to be wrong, with the Mets advancing to the World Series. All they're waiting for now is to make travel plans to either Toronto or Kansas City for the Series, which starts on October 27 in either AL city (KC leads the ALCS, 3-2, and could wrap it at home tomorrow).
When I wrote a week ago that the Cubs would win in 7, I took into account the fact that 1) the Cubs had swept the season series from the Mets, 7-0, as well as 2) the Mets' roster upgrades prior to the trade deadline. Did the Cubs have enough offensive momentum to overcome the Mets' Young Gun starting rotation? Yes, but the Mets took care of that by limiting the damage. Kris Bryant, the presumptive pick as NL Rookie of the Year, homered in the 8th inning Wednesday, but by then, it was too little and too late. Kyle Schwarber, who had homered Tuesday, proved he was a fish out of water in the outfield.
The tabloid media in NYC tried to throw shade on the Mets' run by making note of the fact that infielder Daniel Murphy would be a free agent after the season, and that the Mets were not committed to retaining him. Murphy, the NLCS MVP, continued his torrid October stretch, and has homered in six straight games, snapping a mark set by Carlos Beltran, then with Houston, 11 years ago. Beltran, like Murphy, was a free agent-to-be, and wound up signing with guess who? Yep, the Mets. If Fred Wilpon has any sense at all, he'll open the checkbook to keep Murphy in New York, as he can not only play a serviceable 2nd base, but can back up David Wright at 3rd and Lucas Duda at 1st if either are injured and/or slumping.
As for the Cubbies, presumptive Cy Young candidate Jake Arietta simply ran out of gas, and had been exposed in the Division Series against St. Louis. Manager Joe Maddon ran out of magic, but he has a nucleus that will remain solid for a few more years, barring injuries and intrusive, meddling agents (i.e. Scott Boras, who has clients everywhere) butting in where they're not wanted.
The scary part? The Mets, and not the Nationals, will be everyone's pick to win the NL East next year, on the 30th anniversary of their last title. As the Washington players will tell you, you're better off if you're not the consensus pick. Right now, let's just see where the Mets will go next.......