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Walk-off predictions: NLCS

Since our LDS predictions were successful though not accurate, we thought it appropriate to give it another go for the League Championship Series, and to expand our prognostications to cover some of the most unique walk-offs in LCS history. We believe that the Mets will become the first team to win all of its games in a postseason series in walk-off fashion, and they'll do so in this manner.

Game 1: Lifelong Mets admirer, 14-year-old Louie Govnor earns his place in Mets fans hearts, lunging to the edge of the bleachers in the 8th inning to catch David Wright's long fly ball, an admirable feat considering the degree of difficulty . Tony La Russa pleads for a fan interference call to no avail, despite replays showing he's right, and Wright's drive is ruled a game-tying home run. Carlos Beltran sends everyone home for the night, wrapping a drive around the foul pole in left field against Tyler Johnson in the 11th inning.

Game 2: In one of the weirdest endings you'll see in a postseason game, the Mets earn a victory. Willie Randolph, after two years of shunning such a move, tries to squeeze in the winning run. Though Paul Lo Duca misses the ball, the pitch takes an odd bounce away from catcher Yadier Molina and Jose Valentin gets credit for a steal of home as he charges in with the victorious run.

Game 6: Score tied, 9th inning, with the Cardinals needing a win to clinch the series. Howie Rose yells out "Go crazy, folks! Go crazy!" as Jose Reyes sends the Mets to Game 7 by uncorking a home run down the right field line. Reyes sets a new standard for walk-off celebratory behavior by doing a backflip onto home plate, a la "The Wizard."

Game 7: The Mets trail 2-0 in the 9th inning against Chris Carpenter but stage a rally. David Wright's just-miss grand slam turns into a sacrifice fly, cutting the lead to 2-1. With the bases loaded and one out, Willie Randolph turns to Michael Tucker, who pops out to move the Cardinals within an out of victory. The Mets are now in the most precarious of positions, and with the pitcher up, there's only one position player left to bat. Anderson Hernandez earns his place in baseball history alongside Francisco Cabrera, by lining a base hit to left field. The game is assured of being tied, but now the season has come down to one thing- the arm of Preston Wilson against the legs of Carlos Delgado. The throw is a very good one, but just a hair up the line. Delgado slides in, beating the tag by an eyelash. The pennant belongs to the Mets.



Mike Steffanos of Mike's Mets ...

"David Wright's 2-out single in the bottom of the ninth of game 6 drives in Jose Reyes with the tie-breaking run that gives the Mets a convincing 4-2 NLCS win over the Cardinals. As the Mets celebrate, FOX cuts back to the studio where their crack analysis team "proves" that the Cards were the superior team and the Mets were just lucky. Fortunately, none of us Mets fans have to listen to this, as we've had the TV volume turned off and our radios tuned to WFAN all night."

Barry Federovitch says...

"NLCS Game 2: John Maine starts and yields a two-run homer to Preston Wilson in the first inning. Maine settles down, but allows a third run in the fifth and leaves down 3-0. Jeff Suppan has the Mets baffled, but in the fifth (with a light rain falling most of the game), the wet surface helps get the Mets back in it. After Endy Chavez singles, pinch-hitter Michael Tucker's check-swing toward third is handled by Scott Spiezio. Spiezio loses his grip of the wet ball and heaves it down the right-field line, scoring Chavez and sending Tucker to second. By the end of the inning, the Mets trail 3-2. The Mets gain a 5-3 lead on a Carlos Delgado homer in the seventh, but in the top of the eighth, the wet terrain costs the Mets. Aaron Heilman slips on the grass and comes down hard on his right wrist and must leave the game. Roberto Hernandez must enter in an emergency situation and yields a two-run homer to Juan Encarnacion, tying the game.It's 5-5, bottom of the ninth, with one out. David Wright hits a high shot to straightaway center. Edmonds looks up... and the Mets have a 6-5 walk-off win. They lead the series 2-0 en route to the pennant."

Anthony De Rosa of Hotfoot says...

"Cliff Floyd pinch hitting, 9th inning, Game 2, down 2, with 3 on and 2 outs. The team carries him around the bases as he's too hobbled to run."

(blogger's note: we were gonna save our Kirk Gibson moment for the World Series, but that pick is ok by us.)

Bob Sikes of Getting Paid to Watch says...

"A la Lenny Dykstra, with the Mets down one game to none at home and down a run in the bottom of the ninth in Game 2, Michael Tucker hits a two-run walk-off HR off Adam Wainwright to tie the series at 1-1."

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Cliff Notes

Alright, so it's 2 days later and the challenge for me now, after reading through about a dozen game stories and listening to talk radio, is to provide a fresh perspective on walk-off #324. If you're going to be a serious reader of this blog, you know what happened already, so let's look at what made this particular walk-off stand out. It would seem that the place to start is with the idea that everything broke just right on both sides of the ball. Particularly, I'm talking about Carlos Beltran's catch in the 7th inning, where he went over the center field fence to rob Jose Molina of a home run. Every no-hitter seems to have one defensive gem that makes it possible and perhaps that's true of great walk-off moments as well (We'll be looking into that!) Marlon Anderson's home run required a remarkable combination of events. It was only the sixth inside-the-park home run at Shea Stadium by a Met and the first since Darryl Strawberry in 1989. It required t