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The Braves lose! And the Mets have to sweep the A’s this weekend
New York got good news on Brandon Nimmo and on the out of town scoreboard on Thursday. Now they have to handle their own business in Oakland
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾
The Mets were off on Thursday and will begin a crucial three-game series against the A’s in Oakland tonight
New York has its top three starting pitchers— beginning with Chris Bassitt tonight, and then Jacob deGrom on Saturday and Max Scherzer on Sunday—all lined up to face an A’s team that comes into play tonight with the worst record in the American League
The Mets’ lead in the National League East grew to 1.5 with the Braves falling to the Phillies 1-0 in Philadelphia on Thursday night
Injury Updates 🏥
Brandon Nimmo (left quad tightness) underwent an MRI after leaving the series finale in Milwaukee - the Mets say the imaging came back clean and their starting center fielder is day-to-day
Starling Marte (broken finger) will attempt baseball activities again this weekend after shutting them down earlier this week. He still hopes to return before the end of the regular season
Who’s Hot 🔥
Jeff McNeil, last 51 games: .358/.409/.500, 18 doubles, three home runs, 22 RBI, 25 runs scored, 68 hits
Eduardo Escobar, last 22 games: /346/.402/.654, four doubles, triple, six home runs 13 RBI, 13 runs scored
Francisco Lindor, last 75 games: .299/.371/.490, 11 doubles, three triples, 13 home runs, 43 RBI, 47 runs scored
The Pennant Race 🏁
The Mets have clinched a postseason berth (9/19)
NL East lead: 1️⃣.5️⃣ games
Magic Number to win NL East: 1️⃣1️⃣
Win pace: 1️⃣0️⃣1️⃣
Playoff odds (Fangraphs):
Win the National League East: 78.2 percent ⬆️
Clinch a first round bye: 78.2 percent ⬆️
Win the World Series: 16.7 percent ⬆️
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (95-56) @ Athletics (55-95)
Where: Oakland Coliseum — Oakland, CA
Starters: RHP Chris Bassitt (14-8, 3.32 ERA) vs. LHP Cole Irvin (9-11, 3.79 ERA)
When: 9:40 PM EDT
Where to Watch: SNY
Mets prepare for pivotal must-sweep weekend in Oakland📝
The majority of the series on a baseball schedule are three games and heading into almost every single one of them the objective is to take two out of three. How often do we hear baseball players/personnel say “win the series, win the series, win the series?”
In fact, if a team were to win 2/3 in every one of their three game series in a season, and split all the two and four game ones, that team would finish with over 90 wins and with the three wild cards, a postseason berth at a minimum.
So with the Mets heading into a late September series not just on the road but on the other side of the country against a second division team in the Oakland Athletics, one might suggest taking two out of three would be good enough, right?
The Mets finally got a small break on Thursday when the Braves dropped their series opener in Philadelphia, and this weekend represents a monumental three days in the National League East race. While the Braves continue to battle a desperate Phillies team who’s fighting to stay ahead of Milwaukee for the final Wild Card spot, the Mets will be out in northern California playing the worst team in the American League.
And not only is New York lined up to face an A’s team that comes into play tonight 40 games under .500, it’s got its top three starting pitchers slated to throw in all three of the games.
(They’re also lined up to face the Braves next weekend in Atlanta, and for a potential Wild Card Series, just in case)
Chris Bassitt starts tonight and he’ll be on a mound he’s very familiar with. Prior to coming to Queens in an offseason trade, the righty pitched for the A’s for six seasons. With the exception of his dud against the Cubs two starts ago, Bassitt has been brilliant for the entire second half pitching to a 2.61 ERA in 11 starts, and while he’s the Mets third starter he’d be the ace of most other big league teams.
Speaking of aces, on Saturday and Sunday the Mets will fire Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer.
Long story short, New York has a significant pitching edge in every game of this weekend set, and are playing a team that has expectedly struggled from the get-go in 2022.
The Mets simply have to rise to the occasion and take all three in Oakland.
If they do and the Phillies can get just one more win over Atlanta this weekend, their lead in the NL East would be pushed 2.5 games with eight games to go, which would feel significant considering where it’s been the last week.
What’s more, that would give the Mets badly needed breathing room heading into their series against the Braves a week from tonight, even if the Braves were to win on Monday and everything remained a status quo heading into that series in Atlanta.
Win, Win, Win, baby!
Down on the Farm 🌾
Dom Smith (1B, Triple-A): 2-for-4, 2 RBI
Joey Lucchesi (LHP, Triple-A): 2.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 1 K
Francisco Alvarez (C, No. 1 Prospect, Triple-A): 1-for-4, 2 K
Box Scores: Triple-A
Around the League 🚩
The Phillies blanked the Braves 1-0 which helped the Mets open up a 1.5 game division lead over Atlanta
Kolten Wong crushed three homers to lead the Brewers to a much needed win over the Reds as they try to hang in the NL wild card race
The Yankees clinched a playoff berth with a walk-off, 5-4 win over the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium
Mookie Betts hit a walk-off single for the Dodgers in a 3-2 win over the Diamondbacks - it was LA’s 45th comeback win of the season
The Guardians extended their lead in the AL Central to seven games with a 4-2 win over the White Sox as they close in on a division title
Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt combined for four hits in St. Louis’ 5-4 win over San Diego - the Padres now lead the Phillies by 1/2 a game for the second Wild Card spot and three games over the Brewers for the final Wild Card spot
Joc Pederson had three hits and an RBI in the Giants 3-0 shutout of the Rockies
Young Kyle Bradish out-pitched Justin Verlander as the Orioles kept their slim playoff hopes alive with a 2-0 win over Houston