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Twins Keep Losing
[Posted Sunday p.m., prior to Dodgers-Nationals]
NFL Quiz: As alluded to below, the Carolina Panthers’ Christian McCaffrey is off to a phenomenal start this season in terms of yards from scrimmage, rushing and receiving. Who holds the single-season record for most yards in this category? Answer below.
Yankees – Twins
The amazing streak of futility is now 15 games – a major league record. That’s 15 games in a row the Minnesota Twins have lost in the postseason, 12 straight to the Yankees, as New York easily took the first two games of the ALDS, 10-4 and 8-2.
In Game 1, DJ LeMahieu was 3-for-5 with 4 RBIs, and in Game 2, the Yanks scored seven in the third inning, with Didi Gregorius hitting a grand slam, while Masahiro Tanaka bolstered his record of being clutch in the playoffs with 5 innings of one run ball, Tanaka now 4-2, 1.54 ERA in his six postseason starts over his Yankee career.
Back to the Twins, the all-time record for a postseason losing streak in the four major team sports is the Chicago Blackhawks, 1975-79, 16.
Minnesota will have a chance to tie this record for futility at home on Monday night.
Dodgers – Nationals
The Dodgers’ Walker Buehler was dominant in Game 1, throwing six innings of one-hit, no run ball, as L.A. beat the Nationals 6-0.
But in Game 2 Friday night, once again Clayton Kershaw came up small in a big moment. No, it wasn’t disastrous, but three runs in six innings is a 4.50 ERA. It’s kind of simple. The Nats evened the series up, winning 4-2, as Stephen Strasburg* did what the Dodgers’ were hoping Kershaw would do, tossing six dominating innings of one-run ball, 10 strikeouts, while Max Scherzer struck out the side in the eighth in a surprise relief appearance.
*Strasburg now has a 0.64 ERA in five postseason appearances, 38 strikeouts, four walks, in 28 innings.
Bill Plaschke / Los Angeles Times
“Once again, it looked like the Dodgers’ longtime ace did not give his team enough of a chance to win in a postseason game that required it.
“The future Hall of Famer now has a 4.33 postseason ERA, compared to 2.44 in the regular-season. For a pitcher of his experience, it is a disparity unmatched in baseball history.
“One of the greatest pitchers ever now has a 9-11 postseason record, compared to a 169-74 regular-season record. For a guy who will one day command a Dodger Stadium statue, the disparity rings cold.
“That the troubles started in the first inning should have been no surprise for more than one reason. Kershaw has a 5.78 ERA in 28 first innings this year, including allowing 10 homers in 28 starts.”
Houston management has made critical moves at the right time to set itself up for moments like these, and the acquisitions of Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole prove more than anything that the Astros know exactly what is needed to get over the top.
In late-2017, they acquired Verlander from the Tigers and all the hurler did is go 5-1 in the postseason, leading the Astros to the World Series.
At the end of the 2017 season, not content to rest on their laurels, Houston went out and acquired pitcher Cole from the Pirates and all he has done is go 35-10 the past two seasons.
So it should then come as no surprise that the two would lead the way this weekend as Houston took a 2-0 lead in their ALDS matchup with Tampa Bay.
Verlander went seven innings in Game 1, allowing just one hit, fanning 8, as Houston rolled 6-2.
Saturday night in Game 2, Gerrit Cole had an historic 15-strikeout outing in the Astros’ 3-1 victory. Cole became the seventh pitcher to strike out at least 15 in a postseason game and the first since Roger Clemens did it for the Yankees in Game of the 2000 ALCS. Cole did it in 7 2/3, also allowing no runs, just one walk.
So 14 2/3 of shutout ball from their two stud starters; Verlander now 9-1 in the postseason with Houston. For his career, he is 8-0 in the ALDS, 2.14 ERA, while going 14-7 in all playoff appearances, 3.05. You don’t want to be “Verlandered.”
[Bob Gibson still holds the postseason record for strikeouts with 17 during Game 1 of the 1968 World Series.]
Cardinals – Braves
St. Louis took Game 1 in Atlanta 7-6, the Braves paying dearly for the lack of hustle from star Ronald Acuna Jr.
But Atlanta evened the series up with a 3-0 win on Friday, as Mike Foltynewicz went seven scoreless, besting the Cards’ Jack Flaherty.
Foltynewicz, after a terrific All-Star season in 2018, 13-10, 2.85, was struggling mightily the first half of this year, 2-5, 6.37, and spent all of July in the minors regaining his confidence and mechanics.
Upon his return in August, however, he then went 6-1, 2.65, over ten starts and then twirled this gem the other night.
Meanwhile, I have to admit I had no idea what a second half of the season Jack Flaherty had, 7-2 with a 0.91 ERA, the latter surpassed only by Jake Arrieta (0.75) in 2015 and Greg Maddux (0.87) in 1994 for performance after the All-Star break.
So tonight, in Game 3, the Braves rallied for three runs with two outs in the top of the ninth to defeat the Cards 3-1. Adam Duvall, who had a big pinch-hit two-run homer in Game 2, had the decisive two-run single in the ninth off St. Louis closer Carlos Martinez.
The Cardinals wasted a superb effort by veteran Adam Wainwright, 7 2/3 of shutout ball, while Atlanta’s Mike Soroka yielded just one run in seven himself.
College Football Review
[As always, the following written before release of the new AP Poll]
No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Clemson were idle.
But there were no big upsets this weekend, while Florida took a huge step toward serious CFP consideration.
No. 3 Georgia (5-0) manhandled Tennessee (1-4) 43-14, with Jake Fromm a cool 24/29, 288, 2-0, for the Bulldogs as he remains in the Heisman hunt.
No. 4 Ohio State (6-0) beat the spread (-20) in taking care of 25 Michigan State (4-2) 34-10, as Justin Fields had two touchdowns passing, one rushing, while J.K. Dobbins had 172 yards on 24 carries and a TD. If Dobbins’ numbers sound familiar, it’s because he was 24-177-1 last week against Nebraska.
5 LSU had, to me, an easier time with Utah State (3-2), 42-6 (the spread being -27), than I expected, as Joe Burrow was 27/38, 344, 5-1, for the Tigers, now 5-0.
I mentioned when Utah State played Wake Forest in the opener that Aggies’ QB Jordan Love was high on the NFL radar, but he failed to come through in a high-profile game/audition, tossing three interceptions.
6 Oklahoma (5-0) prepared for its biggie next weekend against Texas with a 45-20 win at Kansas (2-4), Heisman hopeful Jalen Hurts with two touchdown through the air, two on the ground.
In the biggie, 10 Florida hosted 7 Auburn and the Gators moved to 6-0 as they handed Auburn (5-1) its first loss, 24-13, in surprisingly easy fashion, outgaining the Tigers 398-269.
So next up is LSU...one of a handful of titanic SEC contests the rest of the way that will determine whether the conference has an authentic shot at three of the four CFP berths.
8 Wisconsin (5-0) shutout Kent State (2-3) 48-0 as Jonathan Taylor rumbled for 186 yards and four touchdowns.
9 Notre Dame (4-1) beat Bowling Green (1-4) 52-0, quarterback Ian Book throwing five touchdown passes on just 20 passing attempts. So the Irish remain relevant.
And in a super-important contest that serves as prelude to next week’s huge one, 11 Texas (4-1) won a tough road battle at West Virginia (3-2) 42-31; the Longhorns not caught looking ahead to Oklahoma. I give Texas a ton of credit. WVU is a solid team, though Austin Kendall, who threw for 367 yards and three touchdowns for the Mountaineers, also tossed four critical interceptions.
19 Michigan (4-1) beat 14 Iowa (4-1) 10-3 in Ann Arbor in what had to be just a dreadful game to watch, the Wolverines outgaining the Hawkeyes 267-261, Jim Harbaugh’s boys forcing four Iowa turnovers, while sacking quarterback Nate Stanley eight times.
Cincinnati (4-1) upset 18 UCF (4-2) 27-24 on Friday night, thus ending the Knights’ 19-game conference winning streak, the bloom finally off the UCF rose.
Paul P.’s No. 24 SMU Mustangs are now 6-0 after a 43-37 win in three overtimes over Tulsa (2-3).
SMU was under a lot of pressure, given they were ranked for the first time since 1986 (right before the program received the death penalty). Just like with Wake Forest this year, it’s tough to keep things going once the spotlight begins to shine brightly when you’re a program used to playing in the shadows.
But SMU came through, down 30-9 in the fourth quarter, converting six fourth downs along the way. Good for the Mustangs. Paul P., enjoy the ride.
Pitt is now 4-2 after a solid road win at Duke (3-2) 33-30.
Aforementioned 5-0 Wake Forest was idle, but next hosts Louisville (3-2), which had an exciting 41-39 win over Boston College (3-3). This is the result the Deacons needed. They should not be taking the Cardinals lightly. There should be no surprises. Louisville has weapons. Prepare for a tough one next Saturday.
Minnesota is 5-0 for the first time since 2004, as the Golden Gophers whipped Illinois (2-3) 40-17. Kind of out of nowhere, with Nebraska, Rutgers and Maryland up next, Minnesota has a shot at being 8-0 before a matchup with Penn State. Huh.
Finally, Rutgers (1-4) continued to embarrass all of us in the Garden State, 48-7 losers to Maryland (3-2), the 15th straight defeat in the Big Ten for the Scarlet Knights. But at least they scored!!!
And now...the new AP Poll!
1. Alabama (32) 5-0
2. Clemson (15) 5-0
T-3. Ohio State (10) 6-0
T-3. Georgia (3) 5-0
5. LSU (2) 5-0
6. Oklahoma 5-0
7. Florida 6-0
8. Wisconsin 5-0
9. Notre Dame 4-1
10. Penn State 5-0
11. Texas 4-1
12. Auburn 5-1
14. Boise State 5-0...gunning for Group of Five, New Year’s Six berth
16. Michigan 4-1
19. Wake Forest 5-0...not sure if we deserve this, but we’ll take it!
21. SMU 6-0
The Giants stumbled on their way to respectability, losing to the Vikings (3-2) 28-10 at MetLife Stadium, New York falling to 2-3, 2-1 in the Daniel Jones era. Minnesota’s Kirk Cousins for once earned his contract with a superb 22/27, 306, 2-0, 138.6 performance.
My man Dalvin Cook had 132 yards rushing for the Vikes, plus six receptions for another 86.
Jones had his worst performance in three as a pro, 21/38, 182, 1-1, 65.9, and made some rookie mistakes.
But, boy, Minnesota is a Jekyll and Hyde team.
My New York Jets will learn this coming week from League offices just where they will be relegated to next season....the Colonial Athletic Association or Division III. But I have learned, exclusively, that next Sept. 19, the Jets will be on the road at Lycoming College, in beautiful Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
You see, the Jets, again playing without quarterback Sam Darnold, dealing with his enlarged spleen as a result of Mono, lost to the Eagles (3-2) 31-6 in Philadelphia, Darnold’s replacement, Luke Falk, 15/26, 120, 0-2, 37.3; the Jets’ offensive line yielding ten....10!...sacks...the Eagles returning both an interception and a strip of Falk for touchdowns. [I just have to congratulate my good friend, Dr. W., who informed me he picked up 35 points in his DraftKings lineup by picking the Eagles’ defense for this week. I owe you four beers, Whit, for this momentous achievement next time we’re together.]
For Philadelphia, it was the first time they had an INT and fumble returned for a score since Buddy Ryan’s ‘D’ in 1990.
The Eagles are 11-0 over the Jets, by the way, which is a huge factor in the NFL’s relegation decision.
Next time, top restaurants in Williamsport.
New Orleans, playing without Drew Brees, is nonetheless 4-1 after defeating Tampa Bay (2-3) 31-24, as backup Teddy Bridgewater was a cool 26/34, 314, 4-1, 131.3. Receiver Michael Thomas was 11-182-1.
Buffalo is 4-1, as once again its defense ruled, holding Tennessee (2-3) to just 252 yards of offense in a 14-7 win.
The Texans (3-2) defeated the Falcons (1-4) as Deshaun Watson was literally perfect...a perfect passer rating...158.3 after going 28/33, 426, 5-0, in Houston’s 53-32 in over Atlanta. Will Fuller V, son of Will Fuller IV and grandson of Will Fuller III (just assuming), caught 14 of Watson’s throws for 217 yards and three touchdowns. As Ronald Reagan would have told Nancy over Monday morning breakfast, Ronnie reading the sports pages, Nancy making waffles, ‘Not bad, not bad at all.’
Carolina (3-2) beat Jacksonville (2-3) 34-27, as Christian McCaffrey was a one-man wrecking crew, 19 carries for 176 yards and two touchdowns, 6 catches for 91 and another score.
New England is 5-0 after beating the soon-to-be-relegated Washington Redskins (0-5) 33-7. With longtime kicker Stephen Gostkowski having landed on the injured reserve list this week with a left hip injury that will sideline him until next year, the Pats settled on veteran Mike Nugent, who has hit on 81.4% of his field goal attempts, and Nugent was 2-of-2, plus 3-of-4 on his extra point attempts. Good enough for now.
The Ravens (3-2) beat the Steelers (1-4) 26-23 in overtime, Justin Tucker with the winning field goal, after in heartbreaking fashion for Steelers fans, Coach Mike Tomlin opted to kick the ball rather than receive it in OT. But Pittsburgh then did what Tomlin wanted it to, force Baltimore to punt. The Steelers got it in great field position for the potential win, but then Ravens safety Marlon Humphrey stripped Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and recovered the fumble at the Pittsburgh 34. Tucker then won it four plays later.
There is far more to this game but I don’t have time for it now. We’ll see what the word is medically on Pittsburgh quarterback Mason Rudolph later, Rudolph having been knocked out early.
Green Bay is 4-1, without Aaron Rodgers being anything special, 34-24 winners tonight against Dallas (3-2), as the Cowboys’ Dak Prescott had a Jared Goff-like performance, 27/44, 463, 2-3, 83.8; as in that is far from getting it done despite the gaudy yardage.
While Rodgers was pedestrian, but running back Aaron Jones had four touchdowns and 107 yards on 19 carries.
Meanwhile, Thursday night, the Seahawks moved to 4-1 with an exciting 30-29 win over the Rams in Seattle, as quarterback Russell Wilson was basically perfect, 17/23, 268, 4-0, 151.8; far outplaying Rams’ QB Jared Goff, 29/49, 395, 1-1, 83.3.
But in the end, one of the great kickers of all time, Greg Zuerlein, missed a game-winning field goal attempt of 44 yards, barely, that would have given the Rams a 32-30 win.
While Los Angeles is still 3-2, the poor play of Goff, as I pointed out a week ago, is disconcerting and thus far in the first five games he has just seven touchdown passes and seven interceptions, with a crappy 83.0 passer rating.
Contrast that with the otherworldly play of Wilson this season, five games, 12 touchdown passes, zero picks, a stupendous 126.3 rating.
In fact Wilson is now 79-37-1 as a starter in the regular season, with a PR of 101.5 for his career!
Russell Wilson is now second to just Aaron Rodgers, all time in that category, Rodgers at 102.9. [Drew Brees and Tom Brady are Nos. 3 and 4 at 97.7 and 97.6, respectively.]
As in Russell Wilson is one of the greats of all time...and it’s as if we’re all catching up to this fact.
Jerry Brewer / Washington Post
“A quick progress report on the NFL’s six $30-million quarterbacks: Ben Roethlisberger? Injured. Carson Wentz? Work in progress. Matt Ryan? Got stats, not wins. Jared Goff? Can’t yet carry a team. Aaron Rodgers? Still da man, but currently uncomfortable in Coach Matt LaFleur’s offense.
“Russell Wilson? The best he has ever been.
“It is a most frightening no-brainer in modern NFL business, handing over gobs of money to a franchise quarterback. Teams can’t manage the salary cap easily with them; they can’t win without them. So they must pay and then pray. It’s almost accepted now that a franchise must do all its ascending when the quarterback is young and making a digestible salary. When it’s time to pay him money that resets the ever-robust QB market, the next phase is more about sustaining a lower level of success. It is about leveraging the quarterback’s talent to build a consistent winner that, while lacking a high ceiling, still tries to compete for a championship by hanging in and hoping to be in the right place at the right time.
“The downgrade is from ‘anything is possible’ to, hopefully, ‘we’ll always have a chance because of our franchise quarterback.’ This is better than starting over because it is so hard to find a long-term solution at the most difficult position to play in team sports. It doesn’t always have to feel like settling, however. As evidence, we present Wilson, the 30-year-old Seattle Seahawks quarterback, who is off to the best in his career a few months after signing the third and most lucrative contract of his career.”
Appreciate his greatness, if you didn’t already.
More shocking developments. With the season not even a quarter of the way through, Liverpool has basically wrapped up the title! While the Reds took care of business in beating Leicester City 2-1 on a controversial penalty kick from James Milner on Saturday, today, Manchester City lost at home to Wolverhampton 2-0, the Wolves’ first top flight win at Man City since 1979!
So Liverpool already has an 8-point lead, and as these things go with the two clubs, it’s over.
And Tottenham’s season is close to being over; at least it feels that way, as the Spurs’ miseries continue, this time a 3-0 loss at Brighton, after their 7-2 annihilation at the hands of Bayern Munich in the Champions League last Tuesday. Yes, manager Mauricio Pochettino should be fired. Time to move on.
Elsewhere, Arsenal beat Bournemouth 1-0; improving Chelsea blitzed Southampton on the road 4-1; and Newcastle upset Manchester United 1-0.
So you know how it’s been all Big Six, save for Leicester City’s miracle season a number of years ago?
Not in 2019-20....after eight of 38...W-D-L...pts.
1. Liverpool 8-0-0...24
2. Man City 5-1-2...16
3. Arsenal 4-3-1...15
4. Leicester City 4-2-2...14
5. Chelsea 4-2-2...14 [ties broken by goal differential]
6. Crystal Palace 4-2-2...14
9. Tottenham 3-2-3...11
12. Manchester United 2-3-3...9
--Patrick Cantlay and Kevin Na are in a playoff at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Vegas, but I have to move on....
--Congratulations to local New Jersey native Sydney McLaughlin. The 20-year-old ran the third fastest time ever in the 400-meter hurdles at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar, though it wasn’t enough for gold, as she had to settle for silver behind fellow American Dalilah Muhammad, who set the world record in winning the event. These two will continue their terrific rivalry next summer in Tokyo.
--We note the passing of actress Diahann Carroll, 84. Growing up, along with Peggy Fleming, this was perhaps the most beautiful woman in the world. [Sue me if you’re offended by this. I need the publicity.]
Ms. Carroll was both the first black woman to have her own television show not playing a stereotypical role and the first black woman to win a Tony for Best Actress.
Carroll was born Carol Diahann Johnson in the Bronx, July 17, 1935. She quickly took to music by singing in the church and at age 10, received the Metropolitan Opera scholarship at LaGuardia High School of Music and Art.
It was in 1968, though, that she made television history in becoming the first black woman to land her own television sitcom where the character wasn’t a domestic worker... “Julia” ...where she starred as a nurse and widow struggling to make ends meet. The role earned her a Golden Globe for “Best Newcomer” and an Emmy nomination. But the show lasted just two seasons.
In 1974 she earned an Oscar nomination for the film “Claudine” opposite James Earl Jones, Carroll playing a Harlem mother of six.
And in the 1980s, she hit new levels as “the first black bitch on television” as Dominique Deveraux in the soap opera “Dynasty.” Deveraux was the nemesis of Joan Collins’ character, Alexis Carrington Colby, for 74 episodes.
Unfortunately Carroll had four failed marriages, of which she said later that she wasn’t a good evaluator... “whether this should be a friendship or this should be a marriage. I wanted to be married. So when the opportunity to do so was there, I did it.”
--As reported by the New York Post:
“Six elephants died while trying to save each other from a notoriously dangerous waterfall in Thailand, authorities said Saturday.
“The tragic incident happened at the Khao Yai National Park when a baby tusker slipped into the waterfall – known locally as Haew Narok, or ‘Hell’s Fall’ – and the others rushed over to help, according to the BBC.
“Park officials said they heard elephant cries coming from a creek near the waterfall Saturday at around 3 a.m.
“About three hours later, officials found the body of the 3-year-old tusker near the base of the falls. Five other elephants were discovered in a nearby ravine.
“Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation posted aerial photos of the dead animals, partially covered in water amid rocks.
“Two exhausted male elephants were spotted standing on a cliff above the baby elephant and are being monitored, officials said.
“Edwin Wiek, the founder of Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand, told the BBC the incident may take an emotional toll on the pair.
“ ‘It’s like losing half your family,’ Wiek told the outlet.
“In 1992, a herd of eight elephants died at the falls in a similar incident.”
Such a sad tale.
--And we note the passing of one of the most influential and innovative drummers in rock history, Ginger Baker, 80. A co-founder of Cream, one critic said watching him was like witnessing “a human combine harvester.”
Baker was born in south London, shortly before World War II. His bricklayer father was killed in action in 1943, and he was brought up in near poverty. He was a troubled student, hung out in gangs and became involved in petty theft. When he tried to quit the gang, he was attacked with a razor.
But eventually he turned to drumming, after his dreams of riding in the Tour de France ended when he had an accident with a taxi.
And through music he found Jack Bruce and Eric Clapton, the three founding one of rock’s first “supergroups,” Cream. Bands who built on their heavy rock template included Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, though Cream disbanded in 1968.
Baker would join Clapton and Steve Winwood to form Blind Faith.
I just learned of Baker’s death as I was about to post so I might have more next time.
Top 3 songs for the week 10/2/71: #1 “Maggie May” (Rod Stewart) #2 “Go Away Little Girl” (Donny Osmond) #3 “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” (Joan Baez)...and...#4 “Superstar” (Carpenters) #5 “Ain’t No Sunshine” (Bill Withers) #6 “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” (Paul & Linda McCartney) #7 “Spanish Harlem” (Aretha Franklin) #8 “Smiling Faces Sometimes” (The Undisputed Truth) #9 “Yo-Yo” (The Osmonds) #10 “Do You Know What I Mean” (Lee Michaels... ‘B’ week...)
NFL Quiz Answer: Chris Johnson, Tennessee, 2009, holds the single-season record for yards from scrimmage, rushing and receiving, with 2,509 (358-2,006, 5.8 avg., rushing; 50-503 receiving).
1969 Mets, cont’d....the playoffs....
The Mets were in Atlanta to face the 93-69 N.L. West champion Braves for the National League pennant.
Sat. Oct. 4...The Mets took the first in the best-of-five series, 9-5, with five runs in the top of the eighth to overcome a 5-4 Atlanta lead. New York took advantage of two costly errors, and then J.C. Martin, batting for an ineffective Tom Seaver (7 innings, 5 earned), lined a single to drive in two. Phil Niekro went eight for the Braves, allowing all nine runs, but only 4 were earned. Not a good start for the home faithful.
Sun. Oct. 5...The Metsies jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the fourth and, after Atlanta cut it to 9-6, tacked on two more in the seventh for an 11-6 victory; Tommie Agee, Ken Boswell and Cleon Jones all with two-run homers, while Jones added two more RBIs for four in the game.
Jerry Koosman couldn’t take advantage of the early run support, however, and lasted just 4 2/3, allowing the 6 Atlanta runs, but then Ron Taylor (1 1/3) and Tug McGraw, the last three, slammed the door on the Braves.
So the Mets headed home to try and wrap things up. They are up 2-0 despite the fact their top two pitchers, Seaver and Koosman, both sucked. Instead, the Mets’ offense came alive with 20 runs.
Mon. Oct. 6....Yours truly played hooky from school (sixth grade) as my father had secured two tickets for Game 3 at Shea from one of the clerks at the Summit Post Office. Needless to say, it ended up being a terrific memory. And one thing I’ll never forget is that the famous sportswriter, author, commentator Heywood Hale Broun was sitting in front of us. He was one of the more distinctive figures of his era, Howard Cosell-like, in that everyone recognized him instantly.
Anyway, Hank Aaron hit his third home run of the series in the first inning, a two-run shot off Mets starter Gary Gentry, who lasted only two, with Nolan Ryan then coming into the game in the third and going the rest of the way, giving up just two runs, the Mets eventually winning 7-4 behind home runs off the bats of Tommie Agee, Ken Boswell and Wayne Garrett.
Phil Pepe / New York Daily News
“Amazing. Incredible. Stupendous. Unbelievable. Fantastic. Terrific. Magnificent. The Mets are all of those and more. They are champions and, as the man said, ‘You ain’t seen nothing yet.’ Yesterday the National League, tomorrow the world.
“The glorious climax came at 3:34 p.m. as Wayne Garrett threw out Tony Gonzalez, and when the ball settled in the glove of first baseman Eddie Kranepool, it was over. The Mets had beaten the Braves, 7-4, had swept them in the best-of-five playoff series, had won the National League pennant.
“Again, it touched off a wild celebration from the fans, not as wild and not as destructive as the night they won the Eastern Division because this was largely a World Series crowd, and more than half of the 53,195 fans were businessmen.
“But there were the kids, the long-suffering kids. Always with the Mets there are the kids. They had made this their own holiday from school and they had come to celebrate. Again, they mobbed their heroes and tore up the field and swiped every base and this time they didn’t miss first base....
“ ‘We’re the greatest team in the world right now,’ Cleon Jones was saying, while the fans were still taking their souvenirs.”
Bring on the Orioles.
Next Bar Chat, Thursday.