Canvassing the blogs on the Mets' 2-0 win over the Cardinals in Game One of the NLCS:
• Amazin' Avenue. Last night was one of those must-wins, and the Mets won it. Tom Glavine was terrific, again, though he induced some timely at-em balls in the early part of the game that could have led to some St. Louis runs had they been placed differently. He had the fortune of a couple of very nice double plays, he kept his pitch count low, and he is in a good position to start a potential Game 5 on three days rest.
• Mets Geek. Last night was a huge win for the Mets in a game that they really had to have. A lot of that is because Chris Carpenter is going for the Cardinals tonight. Equally important are that they were coming off of a four day layoff, they were playing at home, and just the fact that it was the first game of the series and 1-0 looks a whole lot nicer than 0-1. As for Carpenter, things are not always what they seem. The guy is an oustanding pitcher, the best starter in this series by a good ways and probably the best pitcher in the National League this season. Having said that, Carpenter has some interesting splits that could work to the Mets' advantage. As much as anything, Carpenter is significantly more effective against right-handed batters — of which the Mets have two in their starting lineup — than he is against lefties — of which, counting switch-hitters, the Mets count six among their starters.
• Viva El Birdos. All those replacement-level hurlers gumming up the rosters, and the series kicks off with a pitcher's duel? Whatever. To me, that game embodied what the playoffs are all about — wait around, wait around, wait around until somebody makes a mistake and gets punished for it. If the rest of the games are as taut as that one, it's going to be a well-remembered series no matter who wins it.
• Faith And Fear In Flushing. The email came at mid-afternoon: Two tickets for tonight, did I want them? I nearly broke several fingers replying in the hell-yes affirmative, then fired off a note to Greg. (You never know, he might have been busy tonight or something.) And so it was off to the ballpark for Faith and Fear — a rambling odyssey home, then to Penn Station for the securing of tickets, then out to Shea on the LIRR, then to Gate E where Mr. Prince was waiting, resplendent in his orange Mr. Met jacket. Were we lucky tonight? Maybe. Oh, make that probably. But you know what? Luck's part of it too — balls with shoe polish on them and backup catchers not called for running inside the baseline and right-fielders making foolhardy but marvelous catches and balls hitting off the top of walls and rebounding right to outfielders and little rollers behind the bag and tagging one runner out and then finding a second bearing down on you. Luck, the kindness of friends and strangers, and thrilling baseball on an October night. I'm grateful for all three
• Bellyitcher. Is this the beginning of the October Bat Freeze? I know they can't hit lefties, and there were a lot of hard hit balls. But, gah, let's score some runs at some point during this series. I don't think Rolen will play game two. At least, I really hope. His swing looks better, but I haven't seen that many pop-ups since the Tino days. The bullpen continues to be lovely, however.