New York Mets Wild Ride
This New York Mets season has been very much like a wild roller coaster ride. Any Mets fan can confirm this for you. No team has had as many ups and downs as the Mets have this season. The Mets have been written off so many times to only pull their fans back in like a yo-yo. Now with 16 games left in the season, the Mets have done it again.
The Ride Goes Up
Going into the July 23rd game against the San Diego Padres the Mets were nine games under .500. The Mets started to click and went on the kind of monstrous run that was needed to vault them right back into the wild card race.
The Mets won 16 of 18 games and found themselves five games over .500. After beating the Washington Nationals on August 10th the Mets had won eight straight games. Now the roller coaster ride really gets good.
The Mets season starts to get really wild on August 11th. After the eight-game winning streak got snapped the Mets would lose four out of the next five games and dropped to two games over .500. The Mets then won their next five games which included a three-game sweep of the Cleveland Indians. The Mets hit a high mark of their season at seven games over .500
Then the ride nosedived. The Mets dropped six straight games at home. First, the Atlanta Braves swept the Mets. Then the Chicago Cubs doubled up the Braves and also swept the Mets. What makes this hurt, even more, is the Cubs were the team the Mets are chasing for that second wild-card spot.
The Mets are now one game over .500 and are hitting the road for a six-game trip. The Mets won three of the first four games on the road trip. With the Mets leading the Nationals 10-4 in the ninth inning the roller coaster would free-fall straight down to the bottom. The Mets bullpen exploded and blew a six-run lead as the Nationals won the game 11-10.
Trending Up Once Again
The day after the ninth inning collapse the Mets won the rubber game of the Nationals series. The Mets returned home to face the Philadelphia Phillies and won the first game of the series. But the Mets did drop the next two games.
The Mets were now two games over .500 with the Arizona Diamondbacks coming in for a four-game series. The Diamondbacks were ahead of the Mets in the wild card standings. So this was a make or break series for the Mets. The Mets swept the Diamondbacks and are now six games over .500 and more importantly two games back of the Cubs.
The Stretch Run
Once again the Mets have played their way back into the wild card race. With the Mets in must-win status, they get perhaps the one team they don’t want to see. The National League Western Division Champion Los Angeles Dodgers are coming to town for a three-game series. The Dodgers are the one team who can negate the Mets starting pitching advantage. The Mets will see the Dodgers best three starting pitchers in this series.
After the Dodger series, the Mets go on the road for the last time this season to play the Colorado Rockies and the Cincinnati Reds. On paper, the Mets are better than both these teams. But anything can happen in baseball.
Following the road trip, the Mets finish out the season with four games against the pesky Miami Marlins. Next up is the team that has long been a thorn in their side. The Braves would love nothing better than to ruin another Mets season.
Wild Card Outlook
There is now a four-team race for the last wild card spot. The Milwaukee Brewers who have won seven straight games have now tied with the Cubs for the last wild card spot. The Mets and Phillies are tied at two games back. But things change daily.
The Cubs and Brewers are both four games behind the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Central Division. The Brewers are opening up a three-game series with the Cardinals tonight. The Cubs also have seven games remaining with the Cardinals which can certainly affect the wild card standings.
The Phillies have the toughest remaining schedule. The Brewers and Cubs will have to finish the season without their two best players. Christian Yelich and Javier Baez are both injured and won’t return this season. The Diamondbacks do have the easiest remaining schedule but at three and a half games back have a lot of ground to make up.
There is definitely a real possibility the New York Mets can earn the final wild-card spot. The Mets do have holes just like every other team in this race. Not only has the Mets season been a roller coaster but the game within the game also has. When you are watching a Mets game it truly becomes gut-wrenching every time the bullpen gets used. Unless that pitcher is Seth Lugo no one really knows what to expect from any Mets reliever.
It’s too late to fix these issues now. New York Mets General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen has lots of decisions and changes to be made in the offseason. But for now, this Mets season has come down to the next 16 games. It’s must win now time for the Mets. Next up is the Dodgers.