There will be a nervous tense silence hovering over Queens on Wednesday night. A collective held breath in every home and sports bar. The question on everyone’s mind: Can they do it again?
It’s an even year. Baseball fans will tell you that it plays in favor of the Giants based on the pattern that’s panned out since 2010. But Citi Field will be alive. Electric with an energy that is going to be hard for the Giants to walk into. I imagine twice the intensity that was Game 3 against the Dodgers in the NLDS last season.
Aside from having that home field advantage, and the mighty Thor on the mound, the Mets don’t have much else going in their favor against Bumgarner. The Mets have never actually beaten him in regular season play. Bumgarner is 5-0 against the Mets with a 1.80 ERA in six starts against them. His post season numbers are spectacular. Since 2010 he’s gone 11-3 with a 2.14 ERA in the postseason.
If this season has shown us anything about this team, it’s that they always seem to surprise you when everything else is stacked against them. Last season when the Mets went 0-8 against the Cubs in the regular season no one could have guessed they would sweep them in the NLCS.
Despite having poor numbers against Bumgarner the Mets have won 4 of 7 against the Giants this year. Baseball is as much a mental game as it is physical. Syndergaard thrives in these high stakes situations. He pitched a stellar Game 3 of the World Series when the Mets needed it most. Bumgarner however seems a bit easier to shake. Thinking back to his recent on field brawl with Puig of the Dodgers, as he shouted “Don’t look at me! Don’t look at me!” in Puig’s direction before the fight ensued.
It’s not going to be easy for either side on Wednesday night. But the words of Terry Collins ring true through to Mets fans everywhere “Why not us?”