Trask Talk: Pitching is the name of the postseason


Quinn Trask, Columnist

For many, this MLB postseason might look straight out of some futuristic, sci-fi film. The New York Mets, Chicago Cubs, and Houston Astros headline some of the up and coming, young teams favored in the 2015 postseason. All three teams are three seasons removed from sub .500 seasons and an average win percentage of .391.

So what has turned these three teams, who together didn’t even win forty percent of their games three seasons ago, into World Series contenders?   Some can argue that it is young, prominent hitters for each respective club.

For Houston, shortstop Carlos Correa, second baseman Jose Altuve and outfielder George Springer highlight their powerful, young lineup. For Chicago, first baseman Anthony Rizzo, outfielder Jorge Soler and dynamic duo of second baseman Starlin Castro and shortstop Addison Russell have led them to 97 wins, tied for the most since Reagan was in office. For New York, catcher Travis d’Arnaud, fan favorite shortstop Wilmer Flores and new to the scene outfielder Yoenis Cespedes have led the Mets to become one of the most efficient offenses in the league.

It would be an understatement to say that these young talents haven’t turned these teams around. But, I argue that it is the exact opposite side of the ball that has turned these formerly doormat teams into contenders.

Each ballclub has established a dominant ace in Dallas Keuchel (Houston), Jake Arrieta (Chicago), and Matt Harvey (New York). This season alone, those three have combined for 55 wins and a 2.32 ERA. But, the Mets have even established, in my opinion, the best young pitching rotation in the bigs.

Headed by “The Dark Night” Matt Harvey, the Met’s four “up and coming” pitchers have a combined 2.69 ERA and 593 strikeouts this season. The murderer’s row of Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Stephen Matz are all younger than 28, all six foot two or taller, and are all absolutely filthy.

The Met’s are a team that no team wants to see this season on their way to the Fall Classic. With 4 future aces, in the best shape of their young careers, surfing on waves of adrenaline and being perfectly in sync with pitch caller Travis d’Arnaud, the Mets are a lethal force.

Oh, don’t forget that maybe the hottest hitter in baseball, Yoenis Cespedes, has found his groove and hit it hard in the heart of their lineup. Cespedes, as well as the now healthy David Wright and seasoned vet Juan Uribe should look to be the veteran anchors that every young postseason team needs when making a run for the World Series.

So, at the end of the day, the Mets are my favorite to win this year’s Fall Classic. Sure I may be a little biased thanks to my great-grandfather Frederick “Baba” Trask being a co-founder and co-owner of the club, the 1969 World Series ring with “TRASK” etched onto the side, or the many pieces of signed memorabilia from all the great Mets including family favorites Tom Seaver and Bud Harrelson. But how could you not favorite a team with strong enough arms to run for governor of California. How could you not favorite a lineup that drops bombs more than Allen Iverson says “practice” in a press conference (24).

However, I do firmly believe that the Cubs and Astros will both win pennants within ten years, as well as my pick, the Mets. It seems the Mets will win another World Series not thanks to Bill Buckner’s hole in his first baseman’s mitt, but thanks to young pitching. The Astros will win again before we put a man on Mars, thanks to Keuchel and maybe the best shortstop in the league, Carlos Correa. And finally, (this one’s for you, Deejay) the Cubs will win before the end of the world, thanks to stud Jake Arrieta and a farm system Old McDonald couldn’t have raised better.

But remember, these are all assumptions. So, if that last assumption about the Cubs winning before the end of the world turns against me, I’d look into a doomsday shelter because the Cubs, along with the Mets and Astros are on their way to the top with no ceiling and no slowing down in sight.