Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Here's a weird thing. Whenever I think ahead to the playoffs for the Mets, my mind wanders directly to the National League Championship Series, with nary a thought about the Division Series.

I say that's weird, because it's not like the Mets have had a ton of success that warrants an attitude of cockiness on my part. But they have yet to taste defeat in the first round of the post-season, so there's some rationale for my thought process.

The Mets are 3-for-3 in the Division Series, and none of those series was even very close. In 1999, it took the Mets four games to do away with the Arizona Diamondbacks, in 2000 it was four games and out for the San Francisco Giants, and in 2006 it was a 3-game sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers. (Let me just stress - I'm not saying there weren't difficult games within those series - but none of those series was stretched to a do-or-die fifth game.)

You look at other playoff teams in the years since the extra round of the playoffs was added, and it makes the Mets' success even more impressive. Look at the Atlanta Braves, who started off well in the Division Series, but lost in 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005. The Dodgers are 0-for-4 in the Series, with a 1-12 record. Even perennial playoff players like the Yankees and Red Sox (and to a lesser extent, the Twins, A's, and Angels) have lost first-round playoff series.

Of course, none of the years the Mets won a division series resulted in a world championship, but that's not my point. My point is, when I think of the post-season this year, I think of which team will come out of the other Division Series bracket. Because I'm pretty sure the Mets will be in the NLCS.

That's if they're able to hold off the Phillies and make the playoffs in the first place.

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