There was an ESPN piece published today ranking every World Series. It’s posted in The Garden, if you haven’t seen it yet. Anyway, it’s a reminder that the Mets are 2-3 in five trips to the Series. If we asked a poll question about which was the best World Series, my guess is that it would split along age lines. Those 60 and older would vote for 1969 and those younger would choose 1986. But the flip side isn’t so cut and dried. And let’s expand it to include some playoff defeats. Here are our contenders:
1973 World Series – Rusty Staub playing heroically – and terrifically – with an injured shoulder, Willie Mays pleading with the umpire over a blown call, the Mets having a 3-2 lead in the series only to have the manager panic and pitch guys on short rest in the final two games. They really should have won.
1988 NLCS – Darryl Strawberry‘s 165 OPS+, David Cone going 20-3, an NLCS matchup against a Dodgers squad that they went 10-1 against during the regular season, leaving Doc Gooden in for the 9th inning in Game 4, Sid Fernandez throwing beachballs in Game 5. They really should have won.
1999 NLCS – The best defensive infield ever, the season-ending sweep to force a tie for the Wild Card, Al Leiter‘s two-hit shutout in Game 163, Todd Pratt‘s walkoff HR in the NLDS, losing the first three games of the series only to battle back, John Olerud‘s two-run single off John Rocker, Robin Ventura‘s grand slam single, falling behind by five runs in the first inning of Game 6 but coming back to force extra innings. Maybe they shouldn’t have won but it was such a fun group and a memorable series.
2000 World Series – This isn’t the most painful one to me but it’s the one I like to think about the least. This team wasn’t the same as the year before and even though they went further, they lost to the Yankees. We can argue if they should have won but it should have been longer than five games.
2006 NLCS – Carlos Beltran with 127 runs, 116 RBIs and a .982 OPS, the senior citizen starting pitching that was decimated by injuries when the playoffs rolled around, a three-game sweep of the Dodgers for Part I of the 1988 NLCS revenge, #$%^& Aaron Heilman & #$%&#* Yadier Molina. And that MF curveball by Adam Wainwright. They really should have won.
2015 World Series – The closing kick to finish the season, the power surge of Daniel Murphy, the brutality of Chase Utley‘s slide, Part II of the 1988 revenge with a defeat of the Dodgers in the NLDS, A .650 OPS despite having to face Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke twice in a five-game series, the annihilation of the Cubs in the NLCS, an .833 OPS despite having to face Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester, the complete collapse of the offense in the World Series, managing just a .552 OPS. You’ll remember dropped balls and lousy throws home but do you remember how inept the offense was? They were absolutely the better team – the offense just picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue.
2016 Wild Card – Sorry, this one doesn’t even register.
Which playoff defeat was most painful?
- 1988 NLCS (34%, 11 Votes)
- 2006 NLCS (25%, 8 Votes)
- 1973 World Series (16%, 5 Votes)
- 2000 World Series (9%, 3 Votes)
- 2015 World Series (9%, 3 Votes)
- 1999 NLCS (6%, 2 Votes)
Total Voters: 32