Mets end six-year drought with playoff berth


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Jose Tirado

The New York Mets clinched a postseason berth last week in a win against the Milwaukee Brewers, marking the first time the team has made the playoffs under new owner Steve Cohen.

The squad has played at an elite level for most of the 2022 MLB season. With three series remaining this season, the Mets now look to edge out the rival Atlanta Braves to win their first division championship since 2015.

Down the stretch, the Mets will be neck and neck with the Braves, who are the defending World Series champions. With the Mets only a few games in front of Atlanta, the stakes down the stretch are high. One team will win the division and earn a first-round bye, while the other will compete in a best-of-three wild card series.

September has been a month of inconsistencies for the Mets during the easiest part of their schedule. A large part of their struggles is a suddenly unstable lineup that either blows-out opponents or is shut out. When the postseason comes, their lineup will need to be more consistent, since they likely will not rout the top teams in baseball.

When the playoffs start, the one-two punch of Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom can shut down any team, giving the Mets the advantage in any seven-game series. With Chris Bassitt, Carlos Carrasco and Taijuan Walker starting the remaining games, the Mets have above-average pitchers taking the mound every game.

Despite making limited moves to upgrade the bullpen during the trade deadline, the Mets’ bullpen is capable of holding leads in the playoffs. Edwin Diaz, Adam Ottavino and Seth Lugo are three quality relievers. Also, like every postseason, expect a couple of the starters to pitch out of the bullpen if needed.

Luis Guillorme has been the biggest surprise among their position players. Guillorme has combined his elite defense at second base, third base and shortstop with an above-average offensive performance. Guillorme was thought of as the light-hitting, glove-first backup at the start of the season. But his surprise performance has made him a mainstay in the starting lineup.

On the pitching side, Trevor Williams has been extremely surprising for the Mets this season. He was the throw-in who came alongside star shortstop Javier Baez in a trade last season.

This season, Williams has been the Swiss Army knife for the Mets, being an effective reliever and starter when needed. Without Williams, the Mets would not have a reliable arm to trust for spot starts.

Another unsung aspect of the Mets’ season is the bounce-back performances they have gotten from several players. Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil have improved tremendously compared to last season, and Brandon Nimmo has remained healthy for most of the season. Without both Lindor and McNeil returning to form, the Mets would not be as successful as they have been this season.

When Steve Cohen bought the team, he set a three-to-five year window for the Mets to win the World Series. In year two, the Mets have a chance to make noise this October. Cohen has shown a willingness to be aggressive in improving the team. Free agent acquisitions Max Scherzer, Mark Canha and Starling Marte have elevated the team to where they are today.

To win the World Series this October, the Mets must perform at the level they have played at all season. Even if they fail to win it all, the Mets are in great shape to continue building toward a championship.