Do our predictions really matter?
Have you figured out by now that there?s really no reason for us sportswriters to make projections. As many of our loyal readers are quick to point out, we really don?t know what we?re talking about.
Unfortunately, the Dodgers proved this to be true once again on Wednesday at Shea Stadium. Remember Tuesday, when many of us were saying that the Mets had far too many pitching injuries to overcome. Instead of just saying John Maine was going to replace the injured Orlando Hernandez, we had to throw our wit out there and say something like, ?Because Jose Lima was unavailable, John Maine is going to be the Mets? sacrificial lamb.?
Well that same baby-faced Maine threw 4 1/3 innings, and in the process, gave his team every chance to win on Wednesday. The 6-5 victory over the Dodgers gave the Mets a 1-0 lead in the National League Division Series.
With the postseason-savvy veteran Tom Glavine going up against Hong-Chih Kuo in Thursday night?s Game 2, obviously, the Mets are going to go to Dodger Stadium possessing a 2-0 lead in the series, right? Yeah, yeah, yeah.
As you say, ?Just another cocky sportswriter willing to duplicate the mistake that he made less than 24 hours before.? I respond simply with, ?Whatever.?
There?s no doubt that this Dodgers’ offense is loaded with firepower. But this Mets’ offense is simply ridiculous. Even if Cliff Floyd stays healthy — and he looked healthy while hitting a fourth-inning homer on Wednesday — this lineup is the city’s second best. But at the same time, they?re also the second-best lineup in the entire game.
This series will be determined by the leadoff hitters. Los Angeles? Rafael Furcal and New York?s Jose Reyes are dangerous threats that can and will ignite their offenses. When they find ways to get on base, something is bound to happen.
Having watched Furcal for many years in Atlanta, I came to find out just how much the Braves missed him this year. At the same time, having watched Reyes destroy the Braves this year, I?ve at least once uttered, ?Reyes is the best leadoff hitter in all of baseball.?
It doesn?t mean that I still mean it. I mean, I was just feeling that way at that moment. I?ve also said the same thing about Furcal, and at times, I?ve meant it.
As for that "Dodgers in four games" prediction I made Tuesday, I no longer feel that way. Instead, I?m going with the Dodgers in five.
Who can blame me? You mean you wouldn?t predict something that would cause you to make a cross-country flight to enjoy just one more night in lovely Shea Stadium?