Riding emotional wave, Mets enter September with playoff hopes alive
When Javier Baez raced around 3rd base and moved head initially into house to top off a wild, five-run outburst in the ninth inning on Tuesday afternoon versus the Miami Marlins at Citi Field, the Mets had an ending that would not have actually been thought if it were scripted.
That ending followed 2 days where Baez and Francisco Lindor were involved in a gamers versus the fans mess that led to both Sandy Alderson and Steve Cohen condemning the gamers, resulted in descriptions and apologies from Baez and Lindor, and eclipsed what in fact mattered most.
What mattered most, naturally, was that the Mets — the NL East leaders for the majority of the season — had actually stumbled so severely in August that they discovered themselves almost out of the playoff race in the past September started.
However if Tuesday afternoon’s win was the one that turned the script on the Mets versus the fans debate (turn those thumbs around!) then Tuesday night’s win was one where the sideshow disappeared and baseball was once again front and center.
And with baseball once again the primary focus, the Mets — at 65-67, winners of 4 video games in a row, and having actually comprised a piece of their deficit in the NL East over the last couple of days — go into September with an opportunity.
That the Mets’ battles in August were so bad that they have actually gone from remaining in the motorist’s seat for the NL East title to merely having an opportunity to make a run at the playoffs is frustrating. That goes without stating.
However the Mets cannot remove what took place. They can just move forward with 30 video games left and some hope still staying that they can reach the postseason for the very first time because 2016.
Going into play on Sept. 2, the Mets discover themselves 5.0 video games behind the Atlanta Braves for top place in the NL East and 5.5 video games behind the Cincinnati Reds (4.0 in the loss column) for the 2nd Wild Card.
The 5.0 video game deficit in the department is still significant, however it’s a hell of a lot much better than being 8.0 video games back, which is where the Mets discovered themselves on Aug. 27.
New York City was off on Wednesday due to another post ponement (surprise) that will lead to yet another doubleheader (what else is brand-new) as the Braves were swept by the Dodgers in Los Angeles. Atlanta now heads to Colorado for a series versus the Rockies, who are 43-22 in the house this season.
On The Other Hand, the Philadelphia Phillies — who are in between the Mets and Braves in the standings — were delayed on Wednesday. They now take a trip to Miami to deal with the Marlins and Milwaukee to deal with the NL Central-leading Makers.
The Mets will finish their series versus the Marlins on Thursday prior to heading to Washington, D.C. for a five-game series versus the Nationals, who continue to work on fumes after trading the majority of their crucial gamers away at the due date.
This 14-game stretch the Mets remain in the middle of versus the Nationals and Marlins (they’re 4-1 up until now), stays New york city’s possibility to make their relocation in the department and in the playoff photo in general.
They have actually currently eliminated a piece of their NL East deficit and will likely have an opportunity to cut into it more in between Thursday and Monday.
However the Mets will need to do a great deal of winning to offer themselves a genuine shot here.
Just how much winning?
At 65-67, the Mets would need to go 19-11 to end up with 84 wins.
For the Braves to end up with 84 wins, they would need to go 14-16 down the stretch.
The Phillies would need to go 16-14.
So the Mets need to be aiming for more than 84 wins.
It must likewise be kept in mind that after the Mets complete their stretch versus the Marlins and Nats, things will get a lot harder, with series after that versus the Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Red Sox, and Makers on tap.
The Mets will likewise have what might be a substantial series versus the Phillies at Citi Field beginning on Sept. 17.
What might be the Mets’ most significant series of all will protest the Braves in Atlanta from Oct. 1 to Oct. 3 in the last series of the routine season.
For that series to matter, the Mets will need to be 3.0 video games back or less, which does not appear like that high of a job at the minute.
Simply as the Mets have actually stopped working to differentiate themselves, the Braves (by losing 5 of their last 7 video games) and Phillies (who have actually had major issues beating the lowly Arizona Diamondbacks) have actually done the exact same.
So while the Mets nearly buried themselves, the battles of the Braves and Phillies integrated with a current Mets rise have actually kept New york city’s hopes alive. In the NL East in 2021, time is a flat circle.
To be clear, the Mets still have a hard obstacle ahead of them. Comprising a 5.0 video game deficit with 30 video games left will not be simple. However it is definitely possible. And things might enter into focus much more if the Mets have a huge weekend versus the Nats.
Do the Mets have it in them?
There are factors to think, such as the resiliency they revealed previously this season and just recently, the very best defense in baseball, an awakening from Michael Conforto, and a bullpen that has actually been great.
There are likewise factors to question their possibilities, such as the offense as an entire, a rotation still without Jacob deGrom, and a schedule that will get a lot harder quickly.
However with the calendar turning to September, the Mets still have an opportunity.
Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.