There’s no sense in sugar coating it; the chances of the New York Mets reaching the postseason are slim. A run at the NL East division title seems unlikely, but the Wild Card is still somewhat reasonable, as they sit six games out. However, if the Mets are going to make a serious run at a postseason berth, they are running out of time to make their move.
If the Mets have a run in them, it has to come in the month of August. A deficit of five or six games wouldn’t be insurmountable in September, but since they need to pass five other teams on their way to the top of the Wild Card standings, it’s unlikely that the Mets would be able to make up ground against all of them in one month unless they can cut the deficit significantly before the calendar turns to September.
Before August comes to an end, the Mets must find a way to churn out a winning streak of at least six or eight games, preferably 10 if possible. Such a winning streak would not only put the Mets above .500, but it would also bring them at least two or three games closer in the Wild Card, putting them within striking distance heading into September. But with August nearly half over, the Mets are quickly running out of time to put together a winning streak like that.
A four-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies, a last-place team that the Mets have dominated this season, looked to be a good starting point for a long winning streak, especially with a four-game series against the lowly Chicago Cubs next weekend. But the Mets lost the third game of their series in Philadelphia after blowing a five-run lead, preventing them from getting a sweep, which was essential with three games against the Washington Nationals sandwiched between series against the Phillies and Cubs.
Despite their struggles with the Nationals this season, the Mets are going to have to win at least two out of three against Washington and then secure a four-game sweep of the Cubs. That would give them nine wins in an 11-game stretch, which is just what they need to make up some ground in the standings. If the Mets can’t pull that off, they’ll have to make up for it on a five-game road trip against the Oakland A’s and Los Angeles Dodgers, two teams that currently lead their divisions.
The schedule the Mets will play in the final week of August and the first half of September is somewhat manageable and includes several teams that are near them in the standings, giving them a great opportunity to make up ground in a short period of time. But the Mets have to start to make their move before the end of August, and now is the time to do so.