The New York Mets have a chance to clinch a wildcard berth and in doing so the right to host the one-game playoff next Wednesday at Citi Field with a win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday. The Amazin's have destiny in their own hands and can make back-to-back postseasons for the first time since the 1999 and 2000 seasons.
It's been an improbable run to say the least for a team that sustained season-ending injuries to star pitchers Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz along with opening day starting infielders David Wright and Neil Walker on the shelf for the majority of the year. Despite the slew of bad health that plagued this team throughout the campaign, the Mets+ have valiantly defended their National League Championship and now sit just one-win away from playoff baseball.
Prior to the start of the season, I predicted the Mets would "finish their unfinished business" and walk home champions. No one saw the rash of injuries that afflicted this squad, but it's hard to argue that the Amazin's have shown true heart and resolve without many of the faces who carried them through October last year.
It sounds strange to describe the 2016 Mets as a Cinderella team coming off a National League Pennant, but no one expected them to remain in contention without their franchise stars leading the way. Between Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, T.J. Rivera and Rafael Montero, the Mets assembled a group of upstart youngsters to fill in for their proven pitching stars and the results were nothing shy of remarkable. Not only did New York stay afloat in the chase for a wildcard spot, but it ascended to the top seed and refused to looked back.
All the fresh faces that made their way to the big league club have made an instant and dramatic impact on the dynamics of the team and served as a springboard to the Mets postseason push. The Amazin's sit just nine innings away from their hunt for October glory and if the stretch run has proven anything, it's that Mets fans should expect the unexpected.