In the first game of the 2006 division series, the Dodgers had Jeff Kent and
"We spent the whole season in L.A., so we certainly know what a traffic jam is," then-Dodgers Manager Grady Little said after that game. "We had one right there, and it cost us."
The Dodgers lost that game by one run. They lost the series too.
Since then, the Dodgers have played 30 postseason games. The Mets have played none. That is not a drought well tolerated by any fan base, "especially for a franchise like this," said
"You think that, in '06, it's the beginning of something. As a young player, I fell into this trap too — I just assumed this was going to be an annual thing. We fell apart down the stretch in '07. In '08, we just didn't have the firepower. And then we took some big steps back, starting in '09. You fast forward nine years, and here we are.
"This city, this fan base, has waited quite a bit of time and has experienced some pretty bad seasons, some ugly seasons. To get back to the point where at the beginning of the year, people probably looked past the New York Mets and said, 'You know, they're probably going to be a pretty good team, but they're not going to be a playoff team.'
"To accomplish that, yeah, it's big for our city, it's big for our fan base, it's big for our organization."
If the Mets are not just happy to be here, then here are some questions:
How will they score?
The Mets ended the season by scoring two runs in their last 43 innings. They would like to consider that a post-clinching anomaly. They were the lowest-scoring team in the
Is the team healthy?
Steven Matz, the Mets' preferred Game 4 starter, has experienced back stiffness but reported no trouble after throwing a simulated game Thursday in Florida. Matz, a rookie, would be the only left-hander in the Mets' rotation. Juan Uribe, who opened the season as the Dodgers' third baseman before trades to the
Who could be the X-factor?
Who are the newcomers to watch?
DeGrom, Noah Syndergaard,
What about management?
After managing 1,688 major league games,
Curiously, even though Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly has led his team to three postseason appearances in a row for the first time in the history of the franchise, Collins appears to be the manager in this series with the greatest job security.