The Mets are back in New York, and they're brimming with confidence.
New York, tied 1-1 in its best-of-five NL division series with the San Francisco Giants, has captured the home-field advantage, and the momentum.
"The guys are all upbeat," said outfielder Jay Payton, who drove in the winning run Thursday night in the Mets' 5-4, 10-inning victory at Pacific Bell Park. "We feel like we've got a little momentum, and we feel like taking that into this series here."
The significance of playing two games at Shea Stadium where New York went 55-25 and actually had the best home record in baseball because one of their losses in Japan counted as a home game with a chance to win the series at home is not lost on the Mets.
"This is our house," outfielder Benny Agbayani said. "They have got to come through the jungle. And I thought their fans were, you know, pretty good. But they have not seen our fans. And it's going to be rocking when they come to New York and see how our fans react during the playoffs."
Game 3 of the series is today, with Rick Reed against Russ Ortiz, and Game 4 is Sunday with Bobby J. Jones against Mark Gardner. Game 5, if necessary, is Monday at San Francisco.
It's sort of a homecoming for the Giants, as well. The Giants won five World Series championships while playing in New York, and had their share of big moments here including Bobby Thomson's NL pennant-winning homer off the Brooklyn Dodgers' Ralph Branca 49 years ago.
And the Giants still have many fans in New York from their Polo Grounds days, but Mets manager Bobby Valentine doesn't think their presence will be a factor.
"Sure, I think there's a lot of Giants fans still here in New York," Valentine said. "But I doubt they'll be able to get any tickets."
The Giants haven't won a World Series since leaving New York for San Francisco after the 1957 season, and the Mets intend on keeping it that way.
"I think we're very confident because we're here playing at home," Agbayani said. "And you know, we're one of the teams with the best home record, so I think we're going to do very well after the road trip we had."