Mets sweep to 100 wins as the NL East officially slips way, but it's time to look forward
Per Elias, the Mets streak of 24 consecutive doubleheaders without being swept is the longest in team history.
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾
The Mets swept their doubleheader with the Nationals on Tuesday - they won game 1 by a score of 4-2 (box) and game 2 by a score of 8-0 (box)
The Mets won games 99 and 100 on the season - it’s the fourth time in franchise history the Mets have won at least 100 games during the regular season, the first since 1988
Brandon Nimmo combined for four RBI in the doubleheader - he plated two runs with a double in the second and a homer in the fourth, and a run-scoring single in his second at-bat of the first inning in game two
Jeff McNeil went a combined 3-for-8 in the doubleheader to raise his MLB-best batting average to .328 for the year - he is four points ahead of Freddie Freeman to win the batting title with one game to go
Francisco Álvarez recorded his first career hit in game 2 of the doubleheader, a 439 foot solo home run. He became the 16th Met to homer for his first career hit and is the third Met to do so in 2022 (Nick Plummer, Brett Baty)
The Mets hit back-to-back-to-back home runs to open the scoring in the first inning, one each from Brandon Nimmo, Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil all hit homers to start the game - it was the first time in club history the Mets have hit three home runs to start a game
The Braves defeated the Marlins 2-1 in Miami on Tuesday night to clinch the National League East for the fifth straight season
The Phillies were blown out by the Astros 10-0 while the Padres beat the Giants 6-2 to lock in the wild card seeds - the Mets will host the Padres for a three-game wild card series beginning on Friday at Citi Field with the winner going to Los Angeles to face the Dodgers next Tuesday
Who’s Hot 🔥
Jeff McNeil has a ten-game hitting streak, during which he is hitting .465/.500/.651 with two doubles, two home runs and four RBI
Brandon Nimmo is hitting .400/.484/.582 with two doubles, a triple, two home runs and 11 RBI with eight walks over his last 15 games
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (100-61) vs Nationals (55-106)
Where: Citi Field — Flushing, NY
Starters: TBA vs. RHP Erick Fedde (6-12, 5.27 ERA)
When: 4:10 PM EDT
Where to Watch: SNY
Match-up: San Diego Padres vs. New York Mets
Where: Citi Field — Flushing, New York
When: Friday, October 7, 2022, Saturday, October 8, 2022, Sunday, October 9, 2022 (if necessary)
Where to Watch: ESPN
Looking forward, and not backwards… 📝
Well, at least we know now.
Of course, it was indeed inevitable after a weekend which more or less wiped out any hope of the Mets winning the division.
Unsurprisingly, the Braves clinched the National League East with a quiet 2-1 win against the Marlins in Miami last night.
Meanwhile, 1000 miles north up I-95, the Mets were doing all they could do to keep their noses above water in an all but hopeless race to the finish line in the National League East, taking care of the Nationals in another doubleheader sweep and getting the club to their fourth ever 100-win season.
The Mets looked loose, calm, and relaxed during this game despite fighting some unpleasant elements between the rain, cold and wind. They hit for power, made contact and did all of the things the club did through the first 130 games as they took care of their own business in games they should win, whether they had a purpose in the standings or not.
Still, while the Mets reached the 100 win mark for the first time in 34 years, it does feel a little hollow, doesn’t it? And that’s not fair because it shouldn’t. This club has had a hell of a season - the Braves were just a smidge better than them when it mattered most this past weekend and they deservingly swept the division out from under the Mets.
Even so, the Mets spent 175 days in first place this season and only spent one day out of first between April 11 and September 30. So while the Mets have been fantastic and they should still be a formidable opponent in October with their three-headed monster at the top of the rotation leading the charge, it’s a season stamped by a missed opportunity.
Instead of getting that first round bye and flying parallel to the Dodgers on the postseason bracket, their road to the National League Championship Series now goes through Los Angeles, at which point there’s no reason to expect the Braves to be waiting there for them, assuming they get that far. In addition, should the Mets get to Los Angeles next week, they will be forced to use either Taijuan Walker or Carlos Carrasco against Clayton Kershaw to open that series. With all due respect to Walker, that’s not the matchup the Mets envisioned when they aligned their rotation two weeks ago.
But hey, if the Mets want to be the best, they are going to need to beat the best. The Braves have been through this trial as have the Dodgers and Astros over the years, and all three of them have risen to the top with a commissioners trophy in-hand.
It’s time for the Mets to look ahead, and not backwards and regret their missed opportunity. They still have the chance to win it all, although it is now a longer path to the top.
And I am looking forward to seeing what the Mets are made of now. There’s a certain path to their goal now and while it’s more difficult than desired, there’s truly no path for any team to the summit that isn’t treacherous. The question for the Mets will be how much they have in the tank as they charge forward in the tournament since they more or less have to trudge from the bottom up in the bracket. But the brand of this team has been resiliency through adversity all year long between the tough schedule and the rain outs and added doubleheaders, and both timely and unexpected late-game heroics to comeback and demonstrate the the amount of guile the core of this club truly has.
I certainly hope the story of 2022 doesn’t end with that missed opportunity theme. Long and successful seasons should never come down to one bad weekend determining their fate (even though they so often do in sports), and we all know the Mets are better than that which was on display in Atlanta a few days ago as well. They’ve been in those same kind of pivotal matchups all year and time and time again have come out on top, look no further than that series against the Dodgers at Citi Field a month ago.
As for today’s game, it means nothing in the standings but does serve several purpose. For starters, Jeff McNeil can lock in a batting title. That matters to him, that matters to the club. Second, while the Mets will unquestionably go with a bullpen game and rest many players, it’s still important they go in on a high note especially after coming home on such a low note after Sunday’s game in Atlanta. The off-day/workout day tomorrow at Citi Field should be built off of positive vibes and momentum.
I also think it’s important for the history of this franchise to exceed the 100-win mark. They won 100 in 1969 and 1988 but have only exceeded it once, that coming in their last championship season in 1986. Their 101st win would be their second-highest win total in franchise history and add a little extra pride to what has truly been an amazing, fun, and inspiring season for the Mets in 2022.
But of course, they must do what they can t prepare for the Padres on Friday.
It’s going to be one of those classic New York playoff crowds at Citi Field. It will be electric, it will be emotional and there’s no playoff series for the Mets that has ever come without some kind of drama or flare, so I expect nothing less against San Diego this weekend.
And so, their long march to a championship begins. They need 13 wins now to win the World Series.
Let’s see what they’re made of.
Around the League 🚩
Aaron Judge belted home run number 62 against the Rangers in game 2 of their doubleheader, setting a new American League single-season home run record and breaking Roger Maris’ 61-year-old Yankee record
Justin Verlander fired five no-hit innings against the Phillies on Tuesday - he finished the regular season with an 18-4 record and a 1.75 ERA
Miguel Cabrera announced he would play for Venezuela in the 2023 World Baseball Classic in March
Julio Urias won the ERA title with five innings of two-run ball against the Rockies on Tuesday - he took a no-decision but has a 2.16 ERA in 2022
Amed Rosario went 3-for-4 and scored a run in the Guardians 5-3 win over the Royals
Twins 1B/DH Luis Arraez enters the final day of the regular season with an American League best .315 batting average