Matt Harvey summed up the World Series in two words: “No Way!” He emphatically repeated those words to manager Terry Collins as he insisted on staying in for the ninth inning of Game 5 to try to finish what he started. But rather than becoming what would have surely gone down as a rally cry in Mets lore alongside “Ya gotta believe,” it became the phrase Mets fans muttered to themselves in disbelief as they watched their World Series dreams wither away.
I had to take some time before I collected my thoughts. With the wounds still fresh I couldn’t bring myself to relive the sour note in which the season ended on. I felt like Charlie Brown, charging that football with my tongue out in excitement as the Mets were finally going to succeed, only for the Royals, who were playing the role of Lucy, to pull it away from me at the last second.
The Royals are a worthy World Series Champion. Their entire roster plays the game as if they watched the Tom Emanski instructional VHS tape religiously growing up. Just as I remember growing sick of watching that infomercial, changing the channel as fast as I could, my feelings were the same when it came to watching the Royals. They would foul off endless pitches, hit single after single, continuously go first to third on a hit, steal a base whenever they pleased and watch them come through with the timely hit every time it was needed — the only difference was I couldn’t change the channel. It was reminiscent to the movie ‘Groundhog Day,’ where the Mets were reliving the same nightmarish game over and over again.
But, as hard as it is to remember right now, it wasn’t all bad for the Mets this season. In fact, the positives far outweigh the negatives. Despite losing the World Series, this was one of the most successful seasons in franchise history. It began with hopes of competing for a Wild Card spot, that’s right a Wild Card spot, and ended with a National League Championship.
The Mets unofficial start date this season was on July 31, the night Wilmer Flores hit a dramatic walk-off home run to open up a season-changing series with the Washington Nationals. This came just two days after the dramatic trade that never happened, which led to the infamous image of Flores crying on the field. That moment jump started the Mets and provided a much-needed shot of life into this team. That same weekend Sandy Alderson capped off a tremendous trade deadline by acquiring Yoenis Cespedes, who had an all-time second half with New York. His MVP caliber play almost single-handedly carried the Mets offense down the stretch. Regardless of his postseason woes, fans should never forget that.
After surpassing the overwhelming favorite Washington Nationals to capture the NL East crown, which came with surprising ease down the stretch, their postseason odds looked bleak. In a best of five series the Mets were matched up with the two-headed pitching monster of Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke of the Dodgers. As fate would have it, the Mets young pitching, most notably Jacob deGrom, was up to the task as they proved to be on and above their level every step of the way. Daniel Murphy, who has brought out more mixed emotions over the years from the fan base than any player I can ever remember, suddenly became the best player in baseball. He could do no wrong as the Mets got the best of the Dodgers in five games.
Next up: The Cubs. Ironically enough, this was the year in which the famed ‘Back to the Future II’ movie predicted the Cubs would win the World Series. For a franchise who is in the midst of the most historic championship drought in all of sports, the Cubs felt like a team of destiny. But apparently the Mets didn’t get the memo. They steamrolled over the Cubs as Murphy and the pitching staff once again led the way as the Mets captured their first NL crown in 15 years.
When it came time for the World Series, well, we all know how that went down. The Mets magical run had come to an end. But, the Mets couldn’t have ended it on a classier note, in my opinion, as they came out once more to greet the flushing faithful that stuck around for one last goodbye. David Wright instructed the team to come back out and salute the fans who had hung around Citi Field long after the Royals on field celebration had ended to wish farewell to the boys of summer. It was a somber scene as it began to sink in that this was really the end of the 2015 season. For some of these players, including Cespedes and Murphy, it was likely the last time they would wear a Mets uniform. The organizations goal had been to “take back the city,” in reference to a time when they owned New York in the 1980’s. Which feels like a 100 years ago at this point after all of the Yankees dominance in the 1990’s and 2000’s. With the season the Mets just had to build upon, led by this young star-studded pitching staff, that future could very well be within grasp.
Just as I stated earlier that “No way!” became the last thing we will remember from the 2015 season, I hope it carries over into 2016. I’d like to see the Mets, especially Matt Harvey, use that as motivation next year as if to say “No way we don’t win the World Series this year.”
Thanks for the ride, Mets.