The “or else” is that they are done for the season. It’s as simple as that.
Going into Friday’s games the Mets stand at .500, three games back of the Marlins for the second Wild Card, but also trailing the Pirates and Cardinals. Forget about the NL East — they are 10 and a half games behind the Nationals. The Mets cannot afford to lose more ground in the Wild Card chase.
Even a sweep of the Padres might not turn the trick; it would only make them even after being swept at home in embarrassing fashion by the lowly Diamondbacks. The Mets needed a strong homestand. Instead, they can only hope for .500.
Another reason a sweep is imperative — they embark on a 10-game road trip that will take them to Arizona, San Francisco and St. Louis. Those West coast trips are killers, and the best the Mets could hope for is a .500 trip (there’s that number again). That would leave them three games above .500, likely still within striking distance.
One wonders if Terry Collins will survive the season. For the first time under Sandy Alderson, there are expectations for this team, and they are clearly not being met. Alderson admits he was close to firing Collins after the 2014 season, but Collins saved his job with last season’s World Series run. Collins earned a contract extension, but it was only for two years. So the Wilpons would only have to eat one year’s salary while paying for another manager.
In any case, the Mets have to win this weekend. End of story.