Barring a miracle of unprecedented proportions, the San Francisco Giants are not making the playoffs this year, continuing the odd-year “curse.” While this odd year has not been nearly as bad as 2013 (76-86, tied for 4th in the division), it hurts all the same.
That being said, there is still reason to pay attention to this season even while Giants players prepare for their fall vacations: the New York Mets represent the last great (second) chance for Giants fans. Allow me to list the reasons why.
The Mets almost certainly will play the Dodgers
Under the new (as of 2013), playoff format, the Wildcard Game winner plays the team with the best record in the league, even if those two teams are in the same division. This will almost certainly be the case this year. The St. Louis Cardinals have the best record in the National League (shocking!) and are unlikely to be caught by anyone in these final weeks. There division foes, the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates, are all but assured to play in the Wild-Card game (assuming the aforementioned miracle run by the Giants does not come to fruition) meaning that one of them will play the Cardinals in the Division Series
Jul 24, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Enrique Hernandez (14) is tagged out by New York Mets catcher Kevin Plawecki (22) during the fifth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
This means that the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers, as the two remaining National League playoff teams, will meet in the Division Series. I don’t know about you, but I have always been of the mind that if I cannot root for the Giants, I root for Not Dodgers. If you loathe Zack Greinke as much as you love Madison Bumgarner, the Mets are the team for you!
The 2015 Mets are basically the 2010 Giants
A team that hasn’t made the playoffs in nearly a decade and that few people predicted to win, despite their excellent young pitching, proceeds to defy expectations and win its division. Sound at all familiar? It should. It is basically the script for the Giants’ first World Series in the Championship era.
Jul 11, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Tim Lincecum (55) look across the field from the Giants dugout before the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 15, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) reacts in the dugout during the fifth inning against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
The Mets top three starters even resemble the Giants famed top three of 2010. You’ve got the long-haired kid who looks like he should be loitering outside of your neighborhood skatepark, Jacob deGromm (Tim Lincecum); the Paul Bunyan-like power-throwing (and power-hitting) monster, Noah Syndergaard (Madison Bumgarner); the accomplished All-Star game starter with the first name Matt, Matt Harvey (Matt Cain.) Except, of course, Cain would never have imposed Harvey’s ludicrous pitch-count restriction on himself in the midst of a pennant race.
You could be watching the future of the San Francisco Giants
Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Reports are already coming out that the Giants are going to be interested in free agent-to-be Yoenis Cespedes. Cespedes is on an other-worldly tear that has garnered him MVP chatter despite not having come to the Mets until August. With a near mythical arm and as much power potential as anyone in the league, Cespedes was already one of the most exciting players to watch. Rumors that he could be playing for the Orange and Black next year should only bolster Giants’ fans desire to watch him play.
The Mets are distant relatives of the Giants (sort of)
The Giants (and Dodgers) left New York City in 1956, shattering the hearts of millions of New Yorkers. In 1962, out of the ashes of the Giants departure, the Mets were created; complete with the Giants trademark orange. In a way, the Mets are the New York City heirs to the Giants. The anti-Yankees.
This may sounds like a bit of a stretch, but there is something poetic about a disgruntled Giants fan rooting for the Mets after all these years.