Will we ever see the New York Mets face the Atlanta Braves in an NLCS rubber match?
The first time the New York Mets snuck into the playoffs was in 1969. After winning 100 regular-season games and leading the National League in victories, they had to stop before going to the World Series.
For the first time in MLB history, a Championship Series would take place between the leader of each division. Rather than go straight on to face the best of the American League, the Mets would go to battle with the leader of the National League West, the Atlanta Braves.
The Mets swept the Braves in their first NLCS meeting. Thirty years later, the two met again in the NLCS.
Back in 1999, after more than a decade of missing the postseason, the Mets returned to October. Now in the same National League East Division as the Braves, the pair would need to win their NLDS round in order to face each other again in the playoffs.
Well, the pair managed to do just that. The Braves took care of the Houston Astros with the Mets defeating the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The two division rivals would then go on to face each other for the right to play the New York Yankees in the World Series.
Things didn’t work out as well for the Mets this time. In the best of seven series, Atlanta walked away victorious in six.
More than twenty years have passed since this matchup. The two haven’t met again in the postseason since. Over the last two decades, the 2000 season is the only time each has been to the playoffs in the same year. We may be a little early, but I would love to see the rubber match in the NLCS between these two take place.
So far, there have been 30 years between a Mets-Braves NLCS. This would mean we’re still nine years away. However, with more teams than ever making it to the postseason, wouldn’t it be nice to rush things along?
Both teams are certainly in a position to face-off against each other in October. The Braves are the defending NL East Champions while the Mets look like a contender to take the crown away.
Since the expansion of the postseason, the Mets haven’t had an opportunity to face their division rivals. They have never faced any of the other four teams currently in the NL East, only having experienced games versus the Braves in the past.
Eventually, we’ll see the Amazins against the Philadelphia Phillies in a Wild Card game or versus the Washington Nationals in an NLDS.
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Before then, I’d like to settle things with the Braves in the NLDS—where the Mets first began their history in postseason play.