NEW YORK — There's a certain warm aroma that resides in this city's underground subway system. And while it's not the most pleasant of stimuli, the locals bear with it and would even enjoy the smell should a much-hyped Subway Series develop between the Mets and Yankees, which would clog the No. 7 and No. 4 trains here.
For what it's worth, the Mets insist they're not looking ahead to the possibility of the first all-inclusive New York World Series since 1956, when the Yankees beat the Brooklyn Dodgers.
"I'm not sure any of us can fathom what a Subway Series would be like," Met General Manager Steve Phillips said before the Mets dropped an 8-2 decision to the Cardinals Saturday. "But really, the only time I think about it is when I'm asked about it. St. Louis is a very good team and we can't get ahead of ourselves."
Said Manager Bobby Valentine: "It's a very distant fragrance."
He was referring to a Subway Series, not the actual scent of a subway.
With his first-inning single, Edgardo Alfonzo has hit in nine consecutive playoff games, dating to Game 5 of the 1999 National League championship series against the Atlanta Braves, setting a franchise record.
Alfonzo and Bennie Agbayani have hit safely in all seven of the Mets' postseason games this season, while rookie Timo Perez has a base hit in all six of the playoff games he has started.
While Darryl Kile will start Game 4 on three days rest, the St. Louis right-hander said pitching on such a short turnaround would not be an issue.
Kile took the loss in Game 1, giving up three runs on five hits in seven innings. He threw 83 pitches in the Cardinals' 6-2 loss Wednesday.
"If you look throughout the course of the season, there's days where you have good stuff and there's days where you don't," Kile said. "Your job as a pitcher is to try to find a way to win. No matter if you're coming back early or you have extra rest or whatever."
Met starter Bobby J. Jones, meanwhile, will be throwing on six days rest, his last outing the one-hitter he threw at the San Francisco Giants in the division series clincher.
"You just have to alter your work habits," Jones said. "Obviously I'd rather have six [days of rest] than three."
Game 1: New York 6, St. Louis 2
Game 2: New York 6, St. Louis 5
Game 3: St. Louis 8, New York 2
Today: St. Louis (Kile 20-9) at New York (B.J. Jones 11-6), 5 p.m.
Monday: St. Louis at New York, 5:15 p.m.
Wednesday: New York at St. Louis, 1:15 p.m.*
Thursday: New York at St. Louis, 5:15 p.m.*
TV--Channel 11; *--if necessary
All times Pacific