With four precious games remaining in their season, the Mets hold a slim lead over the Giants and Cardinals in the wild-card race.
Here’s a question: Where would the Mets be without Seth Lugo?
Here’s another: Assuming Noah Syndergaard starts Sunday in Philadelphia, who would likely start the wild-card game?
Yup, it would be Lugo.
Lugo took a no-decision in his last two starts, but won his previous four. For the record, the Mets won all six of those games. Care to guess where the Mets might be without that string?
Make no mistake, the Mets are still kicking because of Lugo and Robert Gsellman, who have combined for seven overall victories.
It’s not as if they started the season in the rotation and had time to grow into their jobs, but they stepped into the breach immediately and won at a time the Mets were fighting to save their season. They didn’t make Mets’ fans forget Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz and Syndergaard, and let’s not ignore Zack Wheeler.
What they did was reduce the sting from their losses and provided a glimpse of optimism for the future. With all but Syndergaard – for now – recovering from surgery that’s comforting.
“The thing that’s been most impressive with these two young guys [is] make no mistake, they know whose shoes they’re filling,” manager Terry Collins said. “But when they come up here, they have not been intimidated by anything. All they’ve done is gone out and pitch their game, and their stuff is good, and we’re seeing it play here. You’ve got to give a little credit to the character of those guys, because they could have been really intimated.”