The New York Mets find themselves one win away (or one San Francisco Giants loss away) from clinching a coveted Wild Card spot in this year’s postseason. The Mets can seal the deal as soon as this afternoon with a win at Citizens Bank Park, where a champagne-drenched celebration will ensue after a hard-fought season that truly tested this team. Actually by winning last night they have clinched at least a tie for a wild-card spot, they hold the tiebreaker over the Giants, so a win today also ensures the wild-card game would be played at Citi Field. It also would mean they won't have to pitch Noah Syndergaard on Sunday, which they obviously want to avoid. The Mets, by the way, were 60-62 on Aug. 19, but have the best record in baseball since then at 26-12.
Should the Mets continue their winning ways, they are rewarded with an October rematch with the Cubs. They won't have Matt Harvey, they won't have Jacob deGrom, and they won't have Daniel Murphy. But they do have Jay Bruce. Yes you read this correctly, they have Bruce. The red hot Jay Bruce. Recent history tells you he can get ridiculously cold and can drive his own team up the wall when he does, but when he’s hot , he can carry a team. Just ask the Reds. It started last Saturday, when after being benched for 4 games he pinch hit in the ninth inning and hit his first home run in three weeks (he went 3-for-39 in those three weeks, with no extra-base hits and one RBI). Since then, Bruce has been back in the lineup every game, and he's hit safely in each one. The Mets have won every game but one.
If the Mets are to win the Wild Card game and face the Cubs they will need Yoenis Cespedes, and a revitalized Jose Reyes and an impressive Asdrubal Cabrera and of course Bruce. The Mets have a lineup that might match or beat the one they rode to the World Series a year ago. They'll need it, because as well as Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman (who won again Friday) have done as fill-in starters, it's a little much to expect them to dominate in October the way Harvey or deGrom could.
Even if this season ends with a wild-card loss next Wednesday or even if it ends with a division-series loss to a Cubs team that will be heavily favored, the Mets can be proud of what they've done. And for that they can in part, thank Jay Bruce.
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