We all remember how the New York Mets, the best team in baseball during the 2006 regular season (97-65 W-L record), lost Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS to a St. Louis Cardinals team that was lucky to even be in the playoffs.. St. Louis had an abysmal 83-78 W-L record, which is the worst of all time for a World Series winning team. They easily beat Detroit 4-1 in the aforementioned series, so logic tells us that the Mets would've easily won too. What happened? The look. It wasn't just Carlos Beltran striking out by watching Adam Wainwright's curveball, it was a lot of bad luck.
The New York Mets like any team just needed some luck to go their way.
The New York Mets cruised to a division crown, ending Atlanta's historic 10 year reign on top and finished tied with the best record in the Majors and the best in the NL. The Mets easily swept the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS. The bad luck began before the playoffs even started however, with the loss of starting pitchers Pedro Martinez and Orlando Hernandez to injury. They may not have been aces, but their career playoff ERA's were 3.46 (Pedro) and 2.55 (El Duque) and Hernandez always pitched better in big games. Losing both was crucial as the Mets had a 4.15 team ERA in the NLCS.
The Mets batted .231/.310/.393 during the NLCS, but .264/.334/.445 during the season. Captain David Wright batted .160/.276/.320 after batting .311/.381/.531 during the season. St. Louis outscored the Mets 28-27 during the series, so Wright hitting better could've made all of the difference. The Mets were basically without their best hitter for this series. Before anyone says that Wright may just have been "overwhelmed", he hit .333/.385/.500 in the NLDS, so he wasn't affected by the playoff atmosphere. Players go through bad streaks all the time, he just had his at the wrong time.
Jeff Suppan shut out the New York Mets in Game 3. JEFF SUPPAN and his 4.12 season ERA! He even homered. Remember those pitching injuries? If it wasn't for them, the Mets wouldn't have started John Maine in Game 2, and watched him give up 4 runs in 4 innings, that ultimately helped St. Louis get the win. Considering St. Louis outscored the Mets by one run, it's these little things that cost the Amazin's the pennant.
If Pedro and El Duque pitched during the series, John Maine wouldn't have blown Game 2. If Wright didn't have an unlucky hitting streak, he could've helped make the difference in games which the Mets barely lost (3-1 in Game 7 for example). The Mets during this series, weren't the "real" 2006 New York Mets. It was a team without two important starting pitchers and basically without a key middle of the order bat. It was a 7 game series in which St. Louis just barely outscored the Mets. It was bad luck and not the Cardinals that beat the Mets.