NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — After clinching the National League Division Title, the New York Mets are now one step closer in the chase for the World Series championship.
The Mets won 3-2 over the Dodgers in Game 5 Thursday night in Los Angeles. The team flew home overnight, and now their attention turns from the Dodgers to the Cubs.
The team was supposed to be a World Series contender in a few years, but as CBS2’s Steve Overmyer reported, they’re on their own schedule.
The Mets post season pitching staff has an average age of 25.
“They’re young, inexperienced, but quality stuff. No matter what happens the light at the end of the tunnel is here,” Terry Collins said.
The Most Valuable Player of the series was Daniel Murphy, a man who has made headlines for his religious beliefs and mistakes that have driven fans nuts.
On Thursday, Murphy pulled off one of the most heads up base running plays in Mets post season history, advancing to third when nobody was covering the base.
“It’s a good thing time wasn’t called or I would’ve looked like a buffoon,” Murphy said.
Sometimes the Mets didn’t look like a contender, sometimes they suffered bad breaks, and many tears were shed.
The highs and lows of the season were experienced by players and fans alike in the same way they’ll embark on their next adventure, together.
As CBS2’s Andrea Grymes reported, Mets fans were on cloud nine as their NLDS-winning team arrived home at Citi Field on Friday morning.
The players got fist bumps and high fives when they got off the buses after their thrilling Game 5 victory.
“To do it in L.A., tough environment, tough team, tough pitcher — combination of all those things, so definitely exciting feeling to get a chance to be successful after all that,” said Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson.
The Mets headed home to get some rest, but first delighted fans who got a quick glimpse outside the stadium.
“I just saw Travis [d’Arnaud] go by and when I said his name he waved, so that was great,” said fan Nancy Fava.
PHOTOS: A Truly AMAZIN’ Night In L.A.
“Yea, it’s unimaginable, it’s a great feeling,” said Alex Zelaya, of Bellmore. “Yeah I was on the edge of my seat for the last four or five innings. They’ll pull through, [Noah] Syndergaard and [Jeurys] Familia were fantastic toward the end, and it was fantastic.”
Thursday night’s do-or-die elimination game kept die-hard fans out of their seats.
“Last night, I was standing up the whole time in my living room watching the game and waiting for the rug to be pulled out from underneath, because it’s happened before,” said Craig Mueller, of Farmingville.
“Oh I was all excited. I was jumping up and down, screaming, yelling,” said Faith Harrison, of Queens.
That enthusiasm is translating into big sales at the Mets Clubhouse store, WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported.
Joe Luna bought all manner of Mets memorabilia.
“I bought presents for my whole family. I’m making them all Mets fans. I got a 2-year-old Met fan, I got a 1-year-old Met fan, and then I got my wife — we’ll leave her age out of it — but she’s a new Met fan,” he said.
Karen told 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa she was on a mission, looking for the victory T-shirt the Mets wore Thursday night.
“I called all around, they said come into the city. I hopped on the railroad and they’re out,” she said.
Karen came into the city all the way from Bethpage, Long Island hoping to score a victory T-shirt for her son Christopher.
But the manager of the Modell’s store near Madison Square Garden said they all sold out.
“Well we only had about 100 of them on hand and we were open last night until 12 a.m., so we sold about 24 last night,” he said.
And by early this morning, all the shirts were gone, Papa reported.
Now, it’s on to the Cubs in the National League Championship Series.
Nicholas Giampietro, also known as the Pinman, headed to Citi Field on Friday all decked out in his gear, including his car.
“It’s taken over my life at this point,” he said. “I’m not working, but this keeps me busy.”
Fans said they’re ready to take on Chicago.
“We’re a different team than we played them before,” said Joshua Hirschman. “I think we have a good shot. Both young teams but I think we have the better pitching.”
For Thomas Lelia, of Whitestone, he had complete faith the Mets would win.
“Forget about it! It was no doubt in my mind. What are you talking about?!” he said.
The Cubs did sweep the Mets during the regular season. But Granderson told CBS2’s Grymes that’s all in the past, they’re even now, and they are ready for Game 1 of the NLCS at Citi Field on Saturday.
As CBS2’s Tracee Carrasco reported, fans were still celebrating Thursday night’s win, but the Cubs were also on their mind.
“I told my wife we gotta do all the shopping early because at eight I’m gonna be right in front of the TV,” Jerry Wilson said.
Die hard Mets fans cleared their Saturday schedules.
“It’s been a long road but I still remember 86, I was here for the parade, I went to Game 6 and Game 7 and I’ve been waiting for this for so long,” Fred Willis said.
As ready as Mets fans were on Friday, fans in Chicago were equally confident in their team.
“I think the Cubs are going to beat the Mets because we have a huge fan base,” a fan named Terry told WBBM-TV, CBS2 Chicago.
But as CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan explained, the NLCS is not only about New York versus Chicago. The series is also pitting Mets fans against each other over who has more team spirit, especially along the Queens-Long Island border.
“I really think that the Long Island people need to have a team for themselves. This is a Queens team and we’re very proud of it,” Gerry Bierne, Floral Park, Queens, said.
Bierne said it’s 11 miles from his home to the ballpark via city bus.
At Tulip Barbers in Floral Park, Long Island they’re wondering if the uncut hair of pitchers deGrom and Syndergaard will keep customers away.
With Murphy magic and the team clicking at the same time there is truly joy in Metsville.