A sold out crowd at Citi Field, Thor pitching perfectly through 7 innings, 10 strikeouts, 2 walks, it would not be enough for the Mets to take this Wild Card game. Bumgarner was perfect. A complete game shut out.
Thor was magnificent to watch and Mets fans everywhere should be excited for how he’ll continue to develop in the next few years. But while Syndergaard thrives on the pressure, the high stakes, the crowd, the noise, Familia has shown us once again, that he does not.
After a blown save in the World Series in 2015, and then giving up a 3 run shot to Gillaspie in the top of the 9th last night, everyone has been starting to wonder if Familia should still be that closer in these tough spots. Maybe it was from deja vu the year before but I felt a sinking feeling when he came in to pitch that inning. I knew with Syndergaard no longer on the mound the Giants would have a shot and breaking things open, and that’s just what they did.
Despite the sting of such a tough loss, there’s a backdrop of hope and optimism for the Mets. They were set up for failure from the middle of the summer, and to get to that Wild Card game at all was a feat in and of itself.
2017 is looking good for a team that will have that “murder’s rotation” back and healthy. (And maybe even another appearance from Bartolo Colon!) There are of course question marks in regards to Cespedes’s return, as well as others like Walker and Reyes, and whether or not the Mets will opt for the buy out on Bruce. Still, there’s plenty of time to watch all of that unfold over the winter. The Mets have transformed themselves in the past two years to that team that’s going to compete no matter what. Don’t be too surprised when you see them back in the post season for a third consecutive year.
As for myself? I’ll still be writing about the post season without that sense of fear and panic in the pit in my stomach. I feel like I’ve been holding my breath since game one of the NLDS last year, now I can finally exhale.