Certainly a sweep of the Phillies Sunday would have been nice, but the Mets are basically right where they should be following a nine-game stretch against the punching bags of the National League. In fact, they met my expectation perfectly.
Before the games against the Giants, Marlins and Phillies, I wrote that the Mets needed to go 7-2. They did just that (my prediction had one flaw — they swept the Giants instead of the Phillies). They now stand five games below .500. I wrote if they manage to remain that way, going 3-3 on the trip to D.C. and St. Louis, they would enter the All-Star break in decent shape.
The Mets are now nine games out of the Wild Card chase (pending the outcome of the Rockies game Sunday evening). Nine games ago, they were 14.5 games out. They are also nine games back in the NL East, picking up three games on the Nationals.
If the Mets can somehow sweep the Nats, a tall task indeed, they would be right back in the thick of division race. I am more focused on the Wild Card, though, since I think that is more attainable.
The Mets have already passed the Pirates and Marlins over the past week and a half. The Braves and the Cards are ahead of them, but they will be easy to leapfrog. The Cubs are currently in the number three slot, but I expect them to eventually take the Central, with the overachieving Brewers dropping back.
That leaves the Diamondbacks and Rockies. They both looked like the real deal until the Rockies started to falter, losing eight in a row. The only hope for the Mets is that the Rockies, Diamondbacks and Dodgers beat up on each other the rest of the way, allowing the Mets to slip into that second spot.
Despite all of the setbacks the Mets have had this season, they are indeed in a race for the postseason. They need to play extremely well and need other teams to flop, but it is possible. Are we already forgetting what happened in 2016?