Simply put the New York Mets are running out of time. There are 10 games left in the season, and they are 1.5 games back of the last playoff spot which the Philadelphia Phillies currently hold. This series was pivotal for the Mets, who have a very tough schedule to end the season.
They have three games against the Braves, three more against the Rays, and four against Washington to end the season. The two upcoming series against first-place teams will likely decide the Mets’ fate for the season. For the Mets to make the playoffs, they will likely have to win at least seven games, maybe eight. More on that later. To win two out of three against the Phillies team that the Mets are chasing is great for the Mets to keep their season alive.
The Mets lost game one at the hands of Jake Arrieta. Arrieta pitched five and one-third innings giving up just one run on eight hits. He walked one batter and struck out four. The Mets, who had 11 hits, we’re unable to get timely ones throughout the game. In the sixth inning, with the bases loaded, Wilson Ramos hit into an inning-ending double play. The Mets, who left 14 runners on base in the game, have failed again and again to get hits in clutch scenarios. Starting pitcher Rick Porcello was not horrible, going five innings and allowing four runs. He really only had two blemishes, allowing a two-out two-run single and a two-out two-run homer. Those two hits accounted for all of the Phillies runs in a 4-1 victory.
To lose the first game was tough for the Mets, but they were able to pull off a big win in game two. With Jacob deGrom and Zack Wheeler on the mound, a pitcher’s duel was due. deGrom, however, was not sharp. He allowed three runs over two innings and was relieved due to a hamstring spasm. Michael Wacha came on in relief and pitched four innings allowing one run. With the Mets down 4-0 in the fourth inning, JD Davis hit a leadoff double and was driven in on a ground out by Robinson Cano. In the sixth, with Brandon Nimmo on-base Davis gave another ball a ride, this time over the wall. The two-run home run, Davis’ sixth, brought the game back to 4-3.
Down a run in the eighth with two outs, Michael Conforto drew a walk, and who else but Davis came up. Davis drove the ball to right-center field, scoring Conforto from first base and tying up the game. A huge confidence booster for the Mets. At the top of the ninth, with two runners on, Andres Gimenez lined a single to center to give the Mets a 5-4 lead. Edwin Diaz came in to close it out and struck out three Phillies en route to a huge save. Diaz saved not only the game but potentially the Mets’ season. Diaz lowered his ERA to 1.71 and has really shown that he can be lights out like we all thought. For him to get a save tonight, against a good team, after a big comeback, is really really important for the Mets.
In the rubber match, the Mets got the bats going early, scoring three runs in the first thanks to a Dom Smith RBI double and Robinson Cano two-run single. But as fast as the Mets gained the lead, they gave it right back. The Phillies hit three straight home runs off of Seth Lugo to tie the game. Following the home run, Jean Segura tripled and scored on an Adam Haseley single. The Phillies would extend the lead thanks to a home run from Bryce Harper followed by an RBI single from Segura. In the sixth inning, Pete Alonso sparked a comeback with a solo home run. Trailing 6-4 and having two runners on, Nimmo smacked a triple to right-center which scored two runs to tie the game at six.
After two more good innings from the Mets bullpen, they ran into eighth inning trouble. With two outs and nobody on, Jeurys Familia walked Andrew McCutchen to put a runner on for Bryce Harper. The Mets went to Justin Wilson who promptly walked Harper on four pitches. He walked the next batter, Alec Bohm, on a 3-2 pitch. Wilson went 2-0 on Didi Gregorious and got him to fly out to end the inning. At the top of the ninth, the Mets got the leadoff of Brandon Workman thanks to a Nimmo solo home run. The ninth inning was an explosion for the Mets. Smith tripled after a Conforto single to extend the lead and Cano followed him with a two-run homer. Diaz came in for a third straight day. He didn’t have his best stuff, striking out two, but allowing three to reach base.
A Look Ahead
The series win is huge for the Mets, who sit just 1.5 games behind the Phillies for the 8th seed in the National League. New York has a tough road ahead, with six of their final ten games against division leaders. The Mets will likely need to win seven or eight of their final ten games to make the playoffs.
The Mets will send Steven Matz to the mound on Friday against Max Fried of the Atlanta Braves. On Saturday, David Peterson will look to build on his last start against Toronto where allowed two runs over five innings. Peterson will match up against rookie phenom Ian Anderson who is 3-0 with a 1.64 ERA. The series concludes on Sunday, the Mets starter is yet to be determined, but Kyle Wright will go for Atlanta.
STANDING: 4th NL Easy