“Welcome to New York. It’s been waiting for you.
Although pop sensation Taylor Swift is originally a Pennsylvania native, the lyrics of her hit single reflect the current mood of the New York sports world.
The Mets are on fire and poised to win the World Series. The Jets are arguably a top five team in the NFL after a 4-1 start. The Giants have rebounded from a miserable start and have a chance at the NFC East. Hockey season is underway, and the Rangers hope that this is finally their year to come away with the Stanley Cup. The Islanders’ Brooklyn chapter is underway. The Knicks and Nets are gearing up for the regular season with exhibitions.
You can’t begin a Mets discussion at the moment without first mentioning second baseman Daniel Murphy. I thought Mets fans wanted him shipped off or to ride the pine earlier this season. That’s clearly not the case now as the thirty-year-old is cementing himself into Mets history.
Through the team’s first six postseason games, Murphy has homered five times and has collected eight RBIs and ten total hits in 28 at-bats. To make it even more impressive, look at who Murphy has homered off of. The 2006 13th round draft pick has belted bombs off Dodgers stars Clayton Kershaw (2) and Zach Greinke, as well as Cubs starters Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta. If Murph can keep it going, he’ll surely be remembered as one of the most Amazin’ players to sport the blue and orange.
As for the other reasons for success, the Mets have received the same strong starting pitching that they did throughout the regular season. Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey and Jeurys Familia have been virtually unhittable. In the team’s first six playoff games, the pitching staff has allowed 20 runs, or just about 3.5 per game. That number might seem a bit high for Mets fans, but with the team’s hot offensive production, the number is not at all concerning.
While the Mets have stolen the spotlight in New York, the Jets also deserve a ton of recognition, as the team has gotten off to a 4-1 start. With the only blunder against the Eagles, the Jets have relied on the running game to open up their offense. Chris Ivory has shone as Gang Green’s man in the backfield and has clearly emerged as the starter alongside veteran signal caller Ryan Fitzpatrick.
The team’s style under first-year head coach Todd Bowles is very reminiscent of the squad’s style in 2010 and 2011, when the Jets made it all the way to the AFC Championship before falling just short of the Super Bowl. Without a doubt, the team’s MVP thus far this season is IK Enemkpali for knocking Geno Smith out of his starting quarterback job.
Flipping to the Giants, it did not look good after the second week of the season when the team was 0-2 following a 24-20 loss to the Falcons. Big Blue has since recovered, largely due to the play of Eli Manning, who has thrown for 1,400 yards and 10 touchdowns. Odel Beckham Jr. has been dominant for the team at the receiver position, and the running back by committee situation has worked out well. In a poor NFC East, the sky is the limit for the Giants.
It wouldn’t be mid-October in New York without some early regular season hockey either. The Rangers, fresh off their Eastern Conference Finals loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, appear poised to start the campaign strong as they seek the Stanley Cup that they have come so close to over the past two years.
The team has struggled a bit in the early going with putting a full sixty-minute game together, but the group’s crop of young talent has shone as Oscar Lindberg, Derek Stepan and J.T. Miller have combined for 13 total points in the first six games.
Essentially, it’s a good time to be a sports fan in New York City.
“Walking through a crowd, the village is aglow, Kaleidoscope of loud heartbeats under coats, Everybody here wanted something more.”
But will New Yorkers see a World Series title? Perhaps a Super Bowl trophy?
We’ll have to wait and see.