Mets fans, I thought it was over Sunday. And it still may be an impossible task. But did I dis the team – by writing a psalm of praise with a back swipe…
The Mets are doing it again. Against all the odds, the team has made up two games and is now (back!) within striking distance of the final Wild Card slot in the National League, three games behind the Cubs and Brewers.
Which is terrific, except that I wrote an article two days ago that sounded like an obituary, and was titled, “Mets Fans Rejoice: No Epitaph Is Required For This Season.”
For the most part, readers went along with it, with lots of likes and comments which reflected endearing gratefulness for an entertaining and fun season.
But these guys never quit. Somehow, Pete Alonso and Seth Lugo didn’t get the message. Alonso smacks his 49th home run (video below) and Lugo in a rare batting appearance lines a shot into center field giving the Mets a cushion and allowing him to pitch the ninth inning to pick up the win on getaway day in Colorado. The video is worth looking at to get a “feel” for the game yesterday…
These things don’t happen. The Mets were supposed to continue to play well at the same time teams ahead of them stayed in the saddle. Ergo – the status quo and the Mets go home.
Now, we look at a team like the Cubs, who get to face the Cardinals for four games at Wrigley while they play without Anthony Rizzo and Javy Baez (both injured). After the Cardinals, the Cubs get a break with three away against Pittsburgh before closing out their season with three in St. Louis. And we begin to wonder…
The Brewers? Well, they have the most manageable schedule with four against the Padres and Pirates at home. But then they go on the road to face Cincinnati (with Luis Castillo and Sonny Gray) and Colorado with a beleaguered and underwhelming pitching rotation which has kept the Brewers up and down all season.
And if you want to get crazy, take a peek at the schedule the Nationals are facing. They’re far from out of the woods yet either.
Now, we’re not going to look at numbers; they’re too depressing. If this team does this and the Mets do that…throw it all out the window.
All that matters for the Mets is that they keep the pressure on by winning. And here’s where we get to the fun part – if you want to play along.
The Mets schedule shines as an opportunity. The team is in Cincinnati for the weekend, and they’ll need to be up for these games facing the same one-two punch of Castillo and Gray as the Brewers. Two out of three ain’t bad.
And then, the Mets come home to close out the season with four against the Marlins and three against the Braves. The Marlins – well, they’re the Marlins and should be easy pickings for three out of four. And the Braves are likely to be on cruise-control prepping themselves for the postseason with a mixed lineup and pitching sequences.
The Mets cannot afford to lose, though. Put a star and an asterisk next to that.
I should have known. Though, in this case, I love being wrong. And if you felt like I did a few days ago, I hope you can say the same thing because this Mets team never quits…