First off, congratulations to all my fellow Mets fans, it's been a while since we've been back in the NLCS and it feels good.
I thought Willie did a whale of a job managing during this series. I know some of us here on AA criticize Willie for his in-game managing skills but the way he handled the starters and the bullpen was spectacular. The way he pulled Maine in game 1 and Trachsel in game 3 the first sight of trouble and relied on the 'pen was perfect. Although the stats for the bullpen from this series won't look real good, they were very effective except for a couple innings. They'll bounce back as they have all year. It was great to see the bats finally awaken after napping for much of September. I was pretty confident going into the playoffs that the bats would get hot again. It must be kind of hard to play everyday in September with absolutely nothing to play for. Great job all around in this series...starters were reliable(for the most part, at least kept us in the game), the bullpen did its part, and the bats were able to get enough runs to let the pitchers pitch comforatably.
Now, with all that being said, it's time to look to the NLCS. Personally, I would rather play the Padres than the Cardinals. The Cards are a much better team than their late season slump indicates, as evidenced by their 2 game sweep in San Diego. I think the Mets match up better with the Padres than any other team in the NL playoffs, including the Dodgers. I was hoping for the Padres to get the wild card so the Mets would play them in the first round.
As shaky as the rotation looks heading into a 7 game series, I feel okay about it, based on Willie's managing from the NLDS. He knows that the bullpen is the strength of the pitching staff and he isn't gonna let his starter pitch the Mets out of a game. However, I would like to have a more reliable starter for games 3 and 4. I haven't liked Trachsel all year and Oliver Perez scares the crap out of me. Hopefully they can do enough to keep the Mets in the game and let the bullpen and the bats win it. I wouldn't mind seeing Dave Williams on the roster and given a chance. He pitched pretty well down the stretch and I think would be more likely to keep the Mets in a game than Oliver Perez. Glavine and Maine should be fine.
I would look for Lastings Millege to be put on the NLCS roster with the injury to Floyd in game 3 of the NLDS. Floyd is listed as day-to-day but if Uncle Cliffy can't go, the Mets are going to need another bat off the bench, especially a right handed bat. It hurts to lose Floyd's bat in the lineup, it looked to me like he was starting to heat up. He had a few hits in the series and hit a few other balls hard. All in all though, the Mets don't really lose too much with Endy in the lineup, he just gives us something different and certainly improves the outfield defense.
I'm looking forward to Wednesday whoever the Mets play. Hopefully they'll be able to keep it going and give us some more fun for as long as possible. Also, the longer the Mets stay in the playoffs, the more we can gloat and piss off our friends who root for the Yankees. AAAAAAAAA-ROD!!! Lets go Mets!