By Daniel Friedman
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On Thursday night, the Mets and Dodgers will square off at Chavez Ravine in a decisive fifth game, which means only one thing: it’s cliché time.
Do or die. Win or go home. The time for heroes to rise to the occasion.
We’ve heard it all before. We’ve also seen the Mets win eight elimination games in their history, and they’ll try to add a ninth. Here’s how they’ve fared:
1. 1973 NLCS, Game 5
Tom Seaver (you may have heard of him) pitched brilliantly as the Mets defeated Cincinnati 7-2 in the decisive fifth game at Shea Stadium.
2. 1986 World Series, Game 6
Mookie Wilson. Bill Buckner. Delirium.
3. 1986 World Series, Game 7
Down 3-0 in the bottom of the sixth, the Mets broke loose and eventually won the game 8-5, earning their second World Series title in franchise history. Jesse Orosco recorded the final out, striking out Boston’s Marty Barrett.
4. 1988 NLCS, Game 6
David Cone threw a gem, and the Mets staved off elimination at Dodger Stadium with a 5-1 win. They forced a seventh game, but lost it.
5. 1999 Wild-Card Game
Al Leiter’s two-hit shutout of Cincinnati at Cinergy Field propelled the Mets into the NLDS. They won the ballgame by a score of 5-0, led by home runs from Edgardo Alfonzo and Rickey Henderson.
6. 1999 NLCS, Game 4
John Olerud knocked in two runs off the hated John Rocker in the eighth inning as the Mets defeated Atlanta at Shea Stadium, 3-2. They finally won one after digging themselves a 3-0 hole in the series.
7. 1999 NLCS, Game 5
Robin Ventura’s “grand-slam single” in the 15th pulled the Mets to within a game of tying the series, as they stayed alive for the second consecutive night. The final score: 4-3.
8. 2006 NLCS, Game 6
Jose Reyes homered in the bottom of the first, while Shawn Green and Paul Lo Duca combined to drive in three runs. The Mets won 4-2, forcing a seventh game that they’d go on to lose.