After changing ownership this offseason, the Mets came out of the gate scorching hot. Entering the second half of the season, the Mets held a sizeable lead over the division and had been in first place for months. However, everything came crashing down in the month of August. As it stands now, the Mets have a 69-69 record and sit four games back of the first-place Atlanta Braves. Although things look dire for New York, fans still wonder: “can they still make the playoffs?” As I said, things look bleak. However, if we are, to be honest with ourselves, the New York Mets can absolutely still make the playoffs.
First things first: things don’t look great for the Mets. They’re four games out with twenty-four games to play. This includes series against some of the best teams in baseball, such as the Yankees and the Brewers. Despite this, things remain optimistic. Several games against the last-place Marlins remain, which should hopefully allow the Mets to pick up some easy wins. The season concludes with an October series against the Braves, which should hopefully be the final showdown for the Mets. If New York can pick up one or two games on the division against the Marlins, play .500 ball against everyone else, and take down the Braves in October, they have a good chance to make the playoffs.
Unfortunately, this is entirely based on conjecture. Nobody has a clue what will happen to the Mets as they close out the season. They could win out or lose out, and there is no way to be sure until it happens. This is especially true due to the inconsistent play by their team. In a recent series against the Washington Nationals, the offense seemed to come alive. The Mets took three of five games, ushered by heroic performances by Javier Baez, Pete Alonso, and Jonathan Villar. Despite this, the Mets lost two winnable games and ultimately could have performed better.
While their recent surge of offense has been a positive sign, it will be hard for the Mets to pick up games down the stretch if they cannot consistently score runs. For example, the Mets fell to the Nationals on Monday because of a mediocre offensive showing. They scored three runs early, but could not finish the game out. This all came to a head at the end of the game when closer Edwin Diaz gave up the winning run. Although Diaz has been quite good all season, this is just another example of a lack of consistency sinking the Mets. Overall, the only thing that has been consistent about the Mets this year is the fact that they have not been consistent.
Can the Mets make the playoffs? Certainly. Will they make the playoffs? Obviously, we can’t say for sure now, but things look bleak. Although their play has improved as August turned to September, it will be difficult to keep things up if they continue to play as inconsistently as they have all season. Also, I think it’s important to consider whether or not it really matters if the Mets make the postseason. After all, even if they do make it, it’s extremely unlikely that they make any sort of run. Jacob DeGrom is unlikely to return, and it’s still unclear if Noah Syndergaard will either. With that being said, it’s important to keep in mind that even if the Mets don’t make the playoffs this year, we likely aren’t missing very much, and should rather focus on the years to come instead.