Mets fans are feeling themselves right now. They just swept the Indians at home and have won five games in a row. They’re 1.5 games back of the second Wild Card spot and 3 games back from having home-field advantage in the Wild Card game.
There’s only one problem: they’re about to face a murderers row of opposition.
Braves, Phillies, Nationals, Phillies, Diamondbacks, Dodgers. That’s who the Mets play in their next six series. It’s 22 games in 24 days against the two best teams in the NL (Braves, Dodgers), two teams they’re fighting against for the NL Wild Card spot (Nats, Phillies) and a .500 team that’s currently trying to play spoiler (D-Backs). The combined record of those teams? 362-277. Ouch.
Of course, that’s the pessimistic point of view; an objective Mets fans have long been associated with. Another way to look at it is the Mets control their own destiny. They host 16 of those games at Citi Field, where they’re currently 37-21. If they want to make the playoffs, if they deserve to make the playoffs, they’ll take care of business at home and earn big wins over their biggest rivals. But let’s be honest, the Mets are known for choking more than rising to the challenge. And that’s not me talking, it’s history.
It’s been a remarkable turnaround for the Mets. They were 11-games under .500 on July 12 and now, led by their energetic young lineup and a flamethrowing arsenal of pitchers, they’re 67-60 with a real chance to make the playoffs, where they have a chance against anyone thanks to Jacob deGrom. But to get there, they’ll have to beat the best, and they’ll have to do it for three straight weeks starting now.