The Mets will win the World Championship because no other team can match their dynamic duo, rookie bowlers Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom. Or is it Jacob Degrom and Max Scherzer? Who really cares, right?
It’s true that both DeGrom and Scherzer were both battered by the hated Atlanta Braves last weekend in Atlanta, failing dreadfully in contests to be won. It doesn’t matter, though. In professional sports, where there are endless playoffs, the regular season is the organ before the performance begins.
If a team gets hot, as the Braves did last year, they can win the World Championship by seemingly out of nowhere. Then no one thinks anymore about how it will go from April to September.
In fact, the Mets had an amazing campaign in 2022, winning 101 games and exceeding fans’ expectations for this season overall. They unleashed a style that could easily be replicated in October: hitting the opportunist, followed by hitting Pete Alonso, while the start gives the team six or seven star innings, then the middle savior or two carefully guides the Mets into the ninth inning.
That’s when Edwin Diaz, who was once hit but is now the closest, approaches the Bulls’ center and immediately closes the door to the other team. Bing. lively. bubble. It’s that simple.
The Mets don’t have to deliver an October miracle story to win it all. They have been playing remarkably consistently since the first week of the season. Billionaire owner Steve Cohen and his staff wisely filled in the gaps in the off-season and gave the team a deeper seat than others could boast.
Scherzer and DeGrom don’t have to jump to higher heights. All they have to do is give as much presentation as they can. Perhaps the key player is starting bowler Chris Bassett, who came from a terrible Oakland A-Team in the off-season (and do you think Bassett counts his blessings in landing with the suddenly powerful Mets?) to become a reliable starting bowler. If DeGrom or Scherzer falter in the playoffs, it would be a surprise — but not a tragedy, as long as Bassitt is there to hold the slack.
I expect Alonso to continue his tradition. He loves to stand on the big stage. Alonso loves attention. While the sport is growing stressful during qualifying, with its reputation coming or going in just a week or two, Alonso likely won’t wither under the bright lights.
He’s been toiling in the shadow of Yankee star Aaron Judge for many years – even though Alonso was a hardcore machine of his own. It would be a shock if such a loose player suddenly went into a slump at the most crucial point of the long season.
Mets fans are easily the most fanatic of neurosports in town. I have a feeling that if the Mets win Game 7 of the World Series 180-0, some unbearable and tormented fans will call up WFAN the next morning and get discouraged, save some rounds for next season, guys! (By the way, a point to clarify: New York Jets supporters are the city’s most persecuted fans, but not necessarily the most nervous.)
When the Mets win, the happiest guys will be manager Buck Showalter, who ran the Yankees in the ’90s, but sadly, unfortunately, before they started winning their championships like clockwork. (He also ran the Arizona Diamondbacks in the season before these freshmen beat the Yankees at the 2001 World Series—discovering a pattern here?)
Showalter, who seems to have been running forever in the major leagues, is still looking for his first championship. He is as hungry as any player. He deserves some glory. He should get it too.
The Mets open Friday night against the San Diego Padres in a best of three game.