My pal Will Leitch noted this afternoon that the last Game 7 of an NLCS was 2,196 days ago. It was 2006, the final showdown between the Mets and the Cardinals.
The day of that amazing game, Will and I wrote about a billion words back and forth on Deadspin, dissecting our feelings about the coming tilt. It reads like we’ve both been binging on trucker speed, which we essentially had been — we open by talking about how the playoffs has made us completely useless as functional human beings. We went on from there to talk about our teams, each other’s teams, and what we think will happen, though of course neither of us is foolish enough to make any kind of prediction, bold or otherwise. I wonder if anyone else on Deadspin ever read the whole thing, but we had a blast doing it, and still talk about the piece.
That Game 7, of course, would turn out to feature Endy Chavez’s famous catch, Yadier Molina’s famous/infamous home run off Aaron Heilman, and Carlos Beltran left looking at strike three from Adam Wainright. Beltran, Molina and Wainwright will be playing again tonight, this time as teammates — odd, maybe, but no odder than half a hundred things baseball serves up.
One thing that jumps out from that long-ago conversation is that Will and I agreed the Cardinals were a last-gasp bunch hoping the stars aligned, while the Mets were a team on the rise, with more Octobers in their futures.
As it turned out, the Cardinals won the 2006 World Series, making the Tigers look hapless after a long wait for an opponent. (Hmm.) They missed the playoffs in 2007 and 2008, got swept in the division series in 2009, were out of the money in 2010, won another title last year, and are playing for the pennant tonight.
The Mets? They were eliminated on the final day of the 2007 and 2008 seasons, haven’t been close to postseason play since, and are a faintly pitiable reclamation project now.
So yeah, we were wrong about that one.