Home MLB 2006 NLCS Champions

2006 NLCS Champions

by Matt Smith

The Cards-Mets series looked like it might go all the way to seven games even before the first pitch was thrown.  The series ultimately went down to the bottom of the ninth in game seven last night.

Having just seen Yadier Molina break a 1-1 tie with a two-run shot in the top of the inning, the Mets got the first two men on to bring the potential winning run to the plate.  Two outs were recorded before Adam Wainright walked Paul Lo Duca to load the bases.  Up walked Carlos Beltran, the big-money former post-season hero.  Wainright struck him out on three pitches, the last of which was a beautiful curveball (not if you’re a Mets fan I’m sure) that froze Beltran at the plate (sadly they didn’t capture the 3D data to show it in Enhanced Gameday).

So, the Cardinals celebrated in eerie silence at Shea and they get one day off before game one of the World Series on Saturday night against Detroit.  Thanks to their sweep of the A’s, the Tigers haven’t played since last Saturday.  Will they be able to take advantage over a tired St Louis?  Will they be undercooked and struggle to hit the ground running (which would be especially damaging as the first two games of the series take place in Detroit)?  That is going to be one of the key factors in this contest and it will be fascinating to see how it plays out.

Meanwhile the Mets must be devastated right now.  They have had an excellent season but the World Series was on their minds from day one and to miss out when they were so close will be hard to take.  It’s amazing to think that while the Mets had virtually wrapped up the NL East by 1 August, the Cardinals very nearly failed to make the play-offs at all.  The Mets won fourteen more regular season games than St Louis managed, but that certainly doesn’t make their loss “unfair”.   The Mets’ magnificent regular season landed them with home field advantage in the NLCS and they didn’t capitalise on it.  The Cards simply played it perfectly, splitting the four games at Shea and winning the St Louis encounters two to one.

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