For the first time since the 2016 NL wild card game, the New York Mets will take part in the Major League Baseball playoffs. In what capacity remains to be seen, but with Monday night’s 7-2 win over the Brewers, the Mets have officially clinched a playoff berth.
It was a fun clincher, too. Max Scherzer returned from the injured list and hadn’t missed a beat. He threw six perfect innings before being pulled as a precaution against reaggravating his oblique injury. Pete Alonso hit a three-run homer, pushing his season RBI total to 118. The club record is 124 (Mike Piazza in 1999 and David Wright in 2008).
This is the Mets’ sixth trip to the playoffs in the wild-card era. They were the NL wild card in both 1999 and 2000, winning the NL pennant in the latter season. They won the NL East in 2006 and 2015 (also a pennant winner) and then lost in the wild-card game in 2016 to Madison Bumgarner and the Giants.
This regular season has been one of the best in franchise history. There have only been three 100-win seasons in Mets history (100 in 1969, 108 in 1986 and 100 in 1988), and this group appears to be on track to top 100 here in relatively short order. They are currently 94-55. If they go 7-6 the rest of the way, they’ll be the second-best regular-season Mets team ever, topping the ’69 “Amazins.”
That team, the Mets’ first World Series champion, is famous for its comeback. The ’69 Mets were 10 games back on Aug. 13 and still won the NL East. This iteration of the Mets is trying to avoid what would be considered a collapse.
The 2022 Mets had a 10 1/2 game lead after June 1. They now are only one game up on the Braves. The Mets have gone 59-38 since then, but the Braves have surged to the point that they are pushing the Mets.
The good news here is the Mets are 100 percent going to make the playoffs. It’s official now.
They would just prefer to lock up the NL East title and, likely, with it a bye to the NLDS round. So while it’s cause for celebration in Mets nation, the overwhelming preference would be that this is not the last regular-season celebration.