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On paper, the final 18 games of the season look to be extremely easy for the New York Mets in their quest for the Wild Card. Not one team is currently posting a winning record, and between the Mets, St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants, it’s the Mets with the easiest path to the playoffs. Also consider the fact that St. Louis and San Francisco face each other this weekend, and the Cubs also await the Cardinals. The Giants also face the Dodgers twice down the stretch. So, should we just write the Mets in for a playoff spot, and print it in permanent ink?
The Mets head into the stretch after dropping 2 out of 3 to the Nationals. I’m not saying that the Mets needed to sweep the Nationals to get back into the Division race, since it would take an (almost) impossible tank job by Washington to blow a 7 game lead with 17 to go (why does that sound familiar?).
But the Mets had an excellent chance to take over the Wild Card lead with both St. Louis and San Francisco also dropping 2 out of 3.
It was not a pretty series offensively against Washington, but here are the 3 stars of the series:
Jose Reyes: 3 for 11, Double, Run scored
As was the case team-wide, Reyes’ offensive numbers were not exceptional. However, he did go 2 for 3 in Monday’s game to account for the only run scored. Unfortunately. The next 7 batters behind Reyes went a combined 0 for 14. Throw in Rafael Montero’s stinker pitching performance, and it was not a good night all around.
T.J. Rivera: 3 for 7, Home Run, Run, 3 RBI’s
The 2016 Pacific Coast League batting champion bailed out Jeurys Familia from his fourth blown save of the season on Tuesday, Hitting his first Major League Home Run in the 10th for the only win in the series.
Robert Gsellman: 5.2 Innings Pitched, 5 Hits allowed, 1 Walk, 4 Strikeouts
Gsellman pitched as well as could be expected in Wednesday’s game. But Gsellman has now seen what has plagued every other starting pitcher this year: this team has a knack for all of the sudden not being able to score runs. Postgame reports that Gsellman may have some issues in his non-throwing shoulder are also adding some concern.
If the Mets are going to make the playoffs this year, I think that they need to win at least 12 out of the last 18 to do so. They cane get off to a good start this weekend with the last-place Twins coming into town.