Back on Aug. 12, the Mets were fresh off sweeping a three-game series from the Nationals — a sweep that included a Pete Alonso walk-off homer in the finale. They were a mere half-game out of first place in the NL East, and they continued to eke out timely wins despite an inordinate number of injuries. Looming, though, was an unlikely stretch of schedule that would see them play 13 straight games against the Giants and Dodgers — i.e., the two best teams in the National League.
The good for the Mets is that, as of Thursday night in Queens, that stretch is over. The bad news for the Mets is that it very likely put an end to their posteason hopes for 2021. On Thursday, the Giants prevailed over the Mets by a score of 3-2 at Citi Field (box score). That loss completed the sweep for San Francisco, and it also means the Mets wound up going 2-11 in those 13 games. More painful still for the Queenslanders is that seven of those 11 losses came by a single run.
Thursday night’s game against the Giants occasioned one of those one-run losses. For San Fran, deadline acquisition Kris Bryant (whom the Mets reportedly ogled leading up to said deadline) homered for a second straight game and put the Giants up early against an otherwise strong Carlos Carrasco. That 2-0 score held until the sixth, when Pete Alonso homered off the final pitch thrown by Alex Wood in this game and tied it up. That lasted until the eighth when Darin Ruf singled home the go-ahead run. In true Mets fashion, they came perilously close to extending or even winning the game, but they failed to capitalize on a bases loaded situation in the bottom of the eighth. They then went down 1-2-3 in the ninth.
So where does that leave the drain-circling Mets? They’re now five games under .500 for the first time this season. They’re also in third place in the NL East and 7 1/2 games behind the division-leading Braves. As for the wild card race, it’s no better. The Mets are eight games out of the second and final spot and behind four other teams. So it comes as no great shock that the SportsLine Projection System coming into Thursday’s slate gave the Mets just a 2.2 percent chance of making the postseason for the first time since 2016.
Now for another round of good news-bad news. The Mets’ next 14 games come against the rather lowly Marlins and Nationals. That’s the good news. The bad news is that after that, they’ll play 14 straight against the Yankees, Cardinals, Phillies, and Brewers. Likely, those outcomes will bring us back to the fact that the Mets badly needed to tread water against the Giants and Dodgers, and they just weren’t able to do that.