Several years ago Mets owner Fred Wilpon said he wanted his team “to play meaningful games in September.” Well, here we are, Sept. 1, and the Mets – after winning nine of 11 games – are just 1.5 games behind St. Louis for the second wild-card.
This week alone they leapfrogged Miami – they can complete a four-game sweep of the Marlins today behind Jacob deGrom – and Pittsburgh.
“I like our chances,” GM Sandy Alderson told reporters at Citi Field.
Manager Terry Collins said he told his players “there would be no more meetings,’’ and he thanked them for not rolling over. Huh? Translation: He thanked them for doing their jobs.
Despite numerous injuries – today Neil Walker will announce his intent to have season-ending back surgery – the Mets are in the hunt for a variety of reasons:
* Walker was scorching since late July before going down.
* Bartolo Colon – who did it again Wednesday night – has kept the Mets in nearly every game he’s pitched.
* The starters have generally been good. Noah Syndergaard overcame his funk; Steven Matz was solid before his shoulder did him in; and deGrom had a stretch of ten straight good starts before his last two stinkers.
* Wilmer Flores has continued to hit, and lately that includes against right-handers.
* The bullpen has been good, and twice needed to work over six innings to help either an injured or battered starter.
All that together adds up to a team. Yes, there has been praise for Cespedes, but he’s been far from the only one. They are in position to compete because they’ve been the essence of a team.
You can’t say they were carried by a star.
Will the Mets get back into the playoffs, much less the World Series? I don’t know, but at least they have a chance.
If told at the beginning of the season the Mets would have been 1.5 games behind the wild card with a month to go, would you have taken it?
I would have.