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Around the NL East: Mets sweating out September finish

Sep 17, 2015, 12:30 PM EDT

Sep 15, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) reacts in the dugout during the fifth inning against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

ATLANTA BRAVES  

Shelby Miller’s bizarre season rolls on as the 24-year-old righty still hasn’t earned a win in 22 starts despite having a more-than-respectable 3.00 ERA. It’s pretty rare for a pitcher to be this snake bit (you’d think he could luck into a win here or there), but when you pitch for a team that struggles like the Braves have this season, dubious historical feats are always on the table.

MIAMI MARLINS  

If the Marlins aren’t going to go to the postseason, they might as well cause trouble for the contenders they face every night. Miami earned back-to-back series wins vs. the Nationals and Mets, keeping the NL East race from officially being over. They’ll be in D.C. for a four-game slate that could prove to be the nail in the coffin for Washington’s playoff chances.

NEW YORK METS 

One would think that a 7.5 game lead with 16 to go would quell any concerns of a potential collapse. But not in New York, where Mets fans are already fearing another scenario like 2007 and 2008, when the club blew big September leads to miss the postseason altogether. It’s mathematically possible this time around, but it would require the Mets to go 7-9 and the Nats to finish 15-2 for it to happen. In other words, this thing is (likely) over.

The only worry the Mets should have at this point is how they plan on managing their young starting pitchers so that they can go deep into October. The Matt Harvey saga is well documented, but what’s the situation with Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom?

PHILDEALPHIA PHILLIES  

Last week in this space, we wondered why the Phillies hadn’t made a decision about Ruben Amaro’s future as GM. But just a few hours later the club announced what many had already assumed: Amaro will not be back next season, leaving the club after seven years on the job. While this has been a dreadful season overall for the Phils, at the very least they can say they finally got the ball rolling on a long-overdue rebuilding effort. It’s going to take some time, but this organization might finally be trending upward after a few rough years.

  1. Eugene in Oregon - Sep 17, 2015 at 1:29 PM

    Mets fans may be ‘sweating out September’ but I don’t get the impression the team is.

    • jd - Sep 17, 2015 at 1:49 PM

      Maybe not Eugene. I just finished listening to a NY sports talk station and I tell you their fan base is in full panic mode. Imagine that, 7.5 game lead with 17 to play and with series against the hapless Braves and Phills still on their schedule and they are worried?

      What they should be worried about is how poorly DeGrom and Harvey are pitching as they get close to the playoffs and matchups against Kershaw and Greinke.

      • Eugene in Oregon - Sep 17, 2015 at 2:04 PM

        Given the (relatively) recent history, it’s hard to blame the fans. And you’re right about their pitching. Even great arms become fatigued arms over a long season, particularly when they’re young and/or recovering from injury.

      • jd - Sep 17, 2015 at 2:42 PM

        Eugene,

        If we’d only won some of the games we gave away against the Mets, Cards, Giants, Rockies.

        Ah what could have been ?

  2. TimDz - Sep 17, 2015 at 2:10 PM

    I think the Mets pitchers are getting gassed….much like SS did back in 2012 (when RIzzo got raked over the coals for shutting him down). Assuming that the Mets clinch eventually, the irony is that they may have trouble getting past LA in the first round BECAUSE of their pitching….

  3. jd - Sep 17, 2015 at 2:40 PM

    So Harvey is starting on Sunday against the Yankees but they are saying he’ll only pitch 4 – 5 innings max. That’s a real crazy way of playing baseball in September. He should be either available or not, the Mets are trying to handle this in a more ‘elegant’ way than the Nats did with Stras and guess what, it isn’t working.

    Admittedly, they have a much bigger issue than the Nats did in 2012 because they are dealing with 3 pitchers who are in uncharted waters but it does put all the anti Nats criticism about SS in perspective. Doesn’t it?

    • natsfan1a - Sep 17, 2015 at 3:41 PM

      If there was any justice (yeah, I know), the national media would be all over the Mets regarding their young pitchers. Eh, whatever, media.

  4. newenglandnat - Sep 17, 2015 at 3:11 PM

    Obviously, the article is correct that what is required is 7-9 and 15-2 and that’s unlikely. But the goal really is to get to that final series with a chance to tie. And to do that, the Nats would have to go 12-2 and the Mets would have to go 7-6. I know it amounts to the same thing, but it’s more conceivable when you think of it that way. It wouldn’t even require the Mets going into a tailspin. If they lost 2 of 3 to the Yanks, which is perfectly conceivable, the Mets would have to win every series the rest of the way to do better than 7-6.

    Is it likely? Of course not. And it’s even less likely that the Nats could go 12-2. And less likely still that they could sweep the Mets in NY.

    But stranger things have happened.

    • ptindc - Sep 17, 2015 at 4:15 PM

      I was doing similar math in my head. The way you described it seems more plausible.

    • kkpp3 - Sep 17, 2015 at 6:05 PM

      I’m all in favor of strange! Nats sweep Marlins and Yankees sweep Mets: Nats are four out with 13 to play.

      Go Nats! Go Yankees!

  5. langleyclub - Sep 17, 2015 at 3:18 PM

    If the Mets and their fans are in full panic mode now, imagine the pressure on the Mets if the Nats had merely held on to a 6 run lead in the 7th and a 1 run lead in the 8th when the Nats faced the Mets a week+ ago? Even conceding the loss in the Scherzer v. Neise start (which the Nats should’ve won as well); the Mets would be feeling it if the Nats with within 3.5 games right now. The Mets will be melting down.

    The Mets (and Terry Collins) have big-time choke potential, but the Nats have failed to put the pressure on the Mets for that potential to become reaility. This weekend, where the Nats have a big matchup edge (Nats v. Marlins; Yankees v. Mets), the Nats lead to make at least 2.5 game move to put pressure on the Mets.

    • jd - Sep 17, 2015 at 4:25 PM

      langley,

      That’s not even mentioning the choke jobs vs. The Rockies and the Cardinals and the brutal series against the Giants and the loses to Arizona and this is all in the past month.

      It was there definitely to be had which really makes the disappointment more bitter.

  6. jfmii - Sep 17, 2015 at 3:33 PM

    Go Nationals. Go Yankees.

    • natsfan1a - Sep 17, 2015 at 3:37 PM

      For this special series occasion, maybe we go from GFYY to GYFYG? (Oh no I didn’t.)

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