If the Mets are going to join the Tigers in the Fall Classic, they will need to get back the momentum the Cardinals seemed to steal from them late Friday night."We've been in tougher spots than this," Mets second-year manager Willie Randolph said. "We feel like we're in pretty good shape, even though we're down 2-1. Things could change real, real quick, so we'll get some rest tonight and I guarantee you we'll be ready to play [Sunday]." The fact is, the Mets have been in no tougher spot than this all season, at least not with so much on the line. Have the Mets had to overcome injuries? Certainly. Have there been big regular-season series along the way against the Yankees, Braves and Cardinals? Sure. But the Mets haven't had to play a game with their proverbial backs to the wall. Not like the 83-win Cardinals, who fought for their playoff lives the last two weeks of September and only captured another NL Central title when the Astros lost on the final day of the season. "Well, it depends how you look at it," Randolph said. "We're down 2-1, and obviously if we go out and win the next few games, we'll be back in it. And if we win three, we'll go to the World Series. That's the way I'm looking at it." But the question is, is that the way his players are looking at it? There was a solemnity to the Mets' postgame clubhouse on Saturday night. "This is the playoffs," Wright said. "Every game is significant. We definitely don't want to fall down, [three games to one] with [St. Louis ace Chris] Carpenter lurking. Teams fall behind. It happens. There's nobody in here panicking." "We just have to go out and win," added Carlos Delgado, who is leading the club with a .364 average this series. "If we put pressure on ourselves, what's that going to do, make us play better?" It could all change, of course. With one well-pitched non-Glavine start, with one well-placed Delgado smash. But there must be a sense of urgency now in the Mets camp. If not now, when?
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less