When Endy Chavez scaled the left field wall to rob Scott Rolen of what would've been a tie-breaking two-run homer in the top of the sixth inning in Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS, there wasn't one person at Shea Stadium who thought the Mets weren't going to the World Series.
But after the raucous celebration in the stands died down, the Mets squandered a bases loaded chance in the bottom of the sixth, fell behind in the top of the ninth, and couldn't muster any magic in the bottom of the ninth as they fell to the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Cardinals, of course, went on to defeat the Detroit Tigers in five games in the World Series.
Had it been the Mets that advanced, would they have beaten the Tigers?
"Oh yeah, hands down," Billy Wagner told SNY during Like We Never Left. "Without a doubt."
David Wright agreed with Wagner, saying the Mets' hopes were squashed due in part to running into Cardinals starter Jeff Suppan in the NLCS, referring to Suppan as "a bit of a buzz saw" who gave them fits due to his ability to change speeds and dot corners.
While the Mets went 97-65 during the regular season as they cut through the NL East like a hot knife through butter, they lost one of their best relievers (Duaner Sanchez) over the summer due to a freak injury in a car accident.
They then lost two of their top three starting pitchers (Orlando Hernandez and Pedro Martinez) on the eve of the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
That they made it to Game 7 of the NLCS with a rotation in tatters was an achievement due in part to their dynamic offense, and they seemed ripe to take down the Tigers -- with Hernandez expected to return for Game 1 -- had they made it one step further.