As the Mets head into a virtual must-sweep series in St. Louis, I am reminded of a similar (yet different) crucial series against the Cardinals back in 1985. The Mets needed to sweep to keep their postseason dreams alive. They failed. Let’s hope it does not happen again.
Back then, with six games to go in the season the Mets trailed the Cards by three games. A sweep at old Busch Stadium was mandatory if they were going to overtake St. Louis for the NL East crown. The Mets won the first two games (the opener is still the best game I have ever seen). They lost the third game, effectively eliminating them from winning the division.
Circumstances are obviously different this year, but the Mets still have to sweep the Cardinals in St. Louis (albeit at a new Busch Stadium) in order to have any chance for October baseball. And even then, the odds are not great. The Mets are currently four and a half games behind the Cardinals for the second Wild Card spot. A sweep would put them in excellent shape to eventually overtake them.
Unlike 1985, though, the Mets now trail two other teams in addition to the Cards — the Pirates and Marlins. So even if they get the sweep in St. Louis, they could still be behind three teams.
If anything, this series conjured up bittersweet memories of 1985 — that incredible first game, then two days later, the disappointment that the season was over. We would have to wait one more year for glory.