Cautious Optimism: The New York Mets Close Race For The Postseason
Noah K. Murray, USATSI

Sweeping the Minnesota Twins then getting swept by the Atlanta Braves, these New York Mets are still in the postseason picture.

Fresh off of a sweep of the Minnesota Twins at Citi Field, the New York Mets find their backs against the wall yet again against the Atlanta Braves. For the second time this season, the Mets have been swept by the team with the second-worst record in the MLB.

Recently, things have been good for the Mets. On August 20, the Mets were 60-62 and about five games behind from the second wild card spot. Today, they are 80-72 and just a half-game out of the top wild card spot.

Despite how great that sounds and how bad the sweep at the hands of the Braves is, the Mets are still in full control of their playoff implications two games ago having a one game lead for the first overall spot.

However, concerns need to be present since the Mets have not played an over .500 team since losing the series against the Washington Nationals. Even prior to that, the last three series were against the Marlins, Phillies, and Cardinals, all series they won.

How Close Is Close?

To put it simply, the Cardinals, who had previously been sinking, have climbed back up to tie the Mets. The same goes for the Giants, who had a small slip up but are now 80-71. All three teams in mention have the same record, but only the Mets will face under .500 teams the rest of the season. This is a gift to New York, who should hypothetically only have to be playing par baseball the rest of the way. The Mets have been taking advantage of it prior to this series, but in a race where you’re all tied it’s devastating to even let one game slip by you.

More-so, it shows just how precious each win earned can be for not just the Mets but all three teams involved. These teams do not want to tie. The logistics involved aren’t pretty for any team as it typically involves the tied teams in question playing one game to determine who earns the spot.

Essentially, an extra playoff game (or missing the playoffs altogether) would avoidable for the Mets if they would pick up their slack and stop losing to sub .500 teams. It’s not too late, but it also needs to start right now.

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