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Jacob deGrom dominant as Mets sweep their way to the doorstep of the postseason
Jacob deGrom made one mistake but the Mets found a way to finish off the Pirates, who can clinch a playoff spot with a win in Milwaukee tonight
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾️
The Mets rallied late to defeat the Pirates 7-3 and finish off a series sweep (Box)
Jacob deGrom led the way to the team setting a franchise record for strikeouts in a single game when the pitching staff combined to strike out 20 Pirate hitters
Jeff McNeil went 2-for-2 with three walks and two RBIs. He has a .376 average since July 30 and his 67 hits tie him for the most in the majors in that same timeframe
Daniel Vogelbach continued to torment the Pirates. He went 2-for-4 with 2 RBIs and a walk in the finale. Overall he reached base in 10 of 13 plate appearances against his former team
Pete Alonso drove in a run on a fielder’s choice which extended his RBI streak to six games. His 115 RBIs for the season ties him with Carlos Delgado for ninth place in franchise history
Tomás Nido extended his hit streak to six games and is batting .429 in the month of September
Joely Rodríguez struck out a career-high five batters in two innings of work
This was the Mets sixth sweep of the season and it was their first four-game sweep of a team since September, 2019 when they swept the Diamondbacks
Their victory over Pittsburgh was their 50th home win of the season which is the first time since 2006 that the team won 50 games at home
Joan Hodges, the wife of the late Gil Hodges, passed away at the age of 95
Jake deGreat ⚡️
Jacob deGrom struck out 13 batters in five innings of work which was the 57th time in his career he struck out double digit batters in a single game. He is now just three games behind Tom Seaver to tie him for the franchise record in that category
The ace made one mistake to Oneil Cruz who got him for a three-run home run, but it was still deGrom’s 40th consecutive start in allowing three runs or fewer which is a new major league record
He has not allowed more than five hits or three runs in 29 straight games, tying Tony Gonsolin for the longest such streak in MLB history
deGrom became the only pitcher in major league history to have 80+ strikeouts, fewer than 10 walks, and fewer than 30 hits allowed in the first nine starts of the season. He is competing only with himself since he now has accomplished the feat for the second straight season
The Sunshine Superman now has five career games with at least 13 strikeouts and zero walks which ties him with Max Scherzer and Gerrit Cole for the third-most such starts since 2015. Dwight Gooden, Tom Seaver, and Sid Fernandez are the only other pitchers to have multiple starts with 13 or more strikeouts and zero walks in franchise history. All three have two such starts apiece.
Who’s Hot 🔥
Eduardo Escobar cooled off a little bit going 0-for-5 at the plate with a RBI. Even with his o-fer he is still batting .375/.426/.714 over his last fifteen games
Jeff McNeil is still in a race for the batting title and his .320 average keeps him within striking distance of Freddie Freeman at the top of the leaderboard. With the season winding down McNeil picked it up hitting .327/.433/.365 over his last fifteen games
Brandon Nimmo went 3-for-5 with the go-ahead RBI in the eighth and two runs scored. He has a .468 OBP over his last ten games
The Pennant Race 🏁
NL East lead: 1️⃣ game
Magic Number to clinch a playoff berth: 2️⃣
Magic Number to win NL East: 1️⃣5️⃣
Playoff odds (Fangraphs):
Win the National League East: 67.1 percent ⬆️
Clinch a first round bye: 67.1 percent ⬆️
Win the World Series: 16.4 percent ⬆️
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (93-55) vs Brewers (78-68)
Where: American Family Field — Milwaukee, WI
Starters: RHP Max Scherzer (9-4, 2.26 ERA) vs. RHP Corbin Burnes (10-7, 2.97 ERA)
When: 7:40 PM EDT
Where to Watch: SNY
Don’t forget - clinching a playoff spot is a major accomplishment… 📝
With the Mets finishing off a sweep of the lowly Pirates and the Yankees defeating the Brewers on Sunday, the Mets magic number to clinch a playoff spot was reduced to two - they could clinch a playoff spot with a win over Milwaukee tonight.
And, with the return of Max Scherzer they have a good chance to do just that…as long as they brought their bats with them to Milwaukee.
But while the offense has struggled over the last few weeks and screams of “COLLAPSE” keep ringing around Metsville, the Mets are on the cusp of completing the first leg of their race in the regular season, so it is now time to appreciate them clinching a playoff berth no matter what form it takes.
It was unquestionably frustrating to see the team strand a ton of runners on base throughout the Pittsburgh series. In the finale they went 4-for-18 with runners in scoring position and left 13 men on base. In the four games against the Pirates the Mets went 11-for-52 with runners in scoring position - that’s not going to cut it against the Brewers this week. Yes, Jacob deGrom got tattooed by Oneil Cruz (who has a seriously high ceiling in the game, for what it’s worth) but the team should’ve built up more of a cushion so one mighty swing would not have left deGrom with a no-decision on a day where he looked otherwise dominant.
Still, on the plus side some heroes stepped up and the Mets were eventually able to pull ahead and tack on some much-needed insurance. Terrance Gore and his speed proved to be the difference for the Mets when he essentially stole the go-ahead run, Joely Rodriguez had another impressive six-out performance, Tomás Nido is finally hitting, and Eduardo Escobar is finally starting to look like himself.
Even with some unlikely heroes on the offensive side, the pitching has also stepped up to keep their team in the game during the offensive lull. Taijuan Walker, Carlos Carrasco, and Chris Bassitt all had strong outings against Pittsburgh and all could have an argument for being named the third starter in a five game series in the playoffs. Even David Peterson, who completely fell apart in his last start against the Cubs looked much better out of the bullpen when he was attacking batters against the Pirates.
This team has shown resiliency all season long in one form or another which has gotten them to a point where they are on the verge of making the playoffs, something which has seemed inevitable for a couple of months.
While they have experienced some hiccups down the stretch, especially during the month of September, this team deserves to celebrate. They’ve played one of the hardest schedules in the league overall, had to play extra doubleheaders due to bad weather, dealt with untimely injuries to their two big horses in the rotation, and they’ve still managed to not only find themselves on the doorstep of the playoffs but also manage to stay in first place for all but one night since April 11. The 2019 team had an amazing run but fell short while the 2021 team actually DID collapse.
Of course, those teams did not have the benefit of expanded playoffs but having 93 wins on September 19 is an accomplishment that those teams never achieved. It has been six years since their last playoff appearance and that appearance amounted to exactly one game. The ride has not been easy (thank you, Atlanta) but once you punch your ticket anything can happen come October. The Mets have their twin aces back, the best closer in the game, a player fighting for the batting title, and once of the most powerful home run hitters in the game. They are still set up for a deep run despite their flaws and they still control their own destiny in the race for the National League East title.
Obviously nothing is settled just yet and winning the division is still the goal but getting into the playoffs is still something to celebrate and cheer about, just perhaps with sparkling cider.
Keep the champagne on ice just a bit longer.
Down on the Farm 🌾
Jake Mangum (OF, Triple-A): 3-for-4, 2 RBI, 3 R
Francisco Álvarez (C, No. 1 Prospect, Triple-A): 2-for-4, HR, 5 RBI, R
Ronny Mauricio (SS, No. 6 Prospect, Double-A): 2-for-4, R
Around the League 🚩
The Phillies can’t get out of their own way and were swept by the Braves after dropping the finale 5-2
Yankees slugger Aaron Judge hit two more home runs (58 and 59) which puts him two shy of tying Roger Maris for the American League record
With the Brewers loss to the Yankees, the Mets magic number dropped to two which means they only need to win one game in the series to clinch a playoff spot
The Orioles turned a triple play in their thrilling 5-4 win over the Blue Jays
Astros LHP Framber Valdez set a new major league record after he threw his 25th consecutive quality start