For those of you out there who may not totally understand how the playoffs work, here is a breakdown of the post-season and where the Mets may find themselves in just a few short weeks:
There are three rounds of post season play. The first round is the Division Series. The first place teams from the East, Central and West Divisions, along with the Wild Card winner, play in this round. The Wild Card winner is the second place team with the most wins. If there is a tie, the team with the higher winning percentage in their division would prevail.
So which teams play whom in this series? A division winner cannot play the Wild Card team if they are in the same division. They would play the team from the other two with the worst record. And then the two remaining teams would play each other. These playoff games take place in both the American and National Leagues.
The next round of playoffs is the League Championship Series. The winners of the two Division Series would play each other for the league title and the chance to represent the league in the World Series. Obviously, these games also occur in both leagues.
Finally, the winners of the National and American League Championship Series will go head to head in the World Series and earn the right to be named the best team in Major League Baseball.
So where do the Mets stand? If the season ended today, the Mets, Cubs and Padres would win the National League East, Central and West, respectively. The Diamondbacks would be the Wild Card winner. Because the D’Backs are in the West, they would not play the Padres, they would take on the Mets. Because the Cubs’ record is worse than the Mets, they would face the Padres.
Last month, the Mets dropped 2 out of 3 to the Padres. Cause for concern? Nah.
There is no doubt that this Mets team can hit. Every spot in the lineup, one through eight, is a threat. And while every team makes their share of fielding blunders, this team can definitely make the plays in the field that they need to. My only concern is the pitching. Not the starters, the bullpen. It has been shaky all year, and even though Wagner redeemed himself with a save yesterday, he didn’t quite pitch the way we know he should. And I am still not comfortable with Mota, even though he gave us a one-two-three inning today.
It disappoints me that Omar didn’t get us any pitching help down the stretch. Even if something does come up now, a player must be with the organization by August 31st to be eligible to participate in the postseason, which would be useless at that point.
In any event, I think it is safe to say that as long as the Phillies keep cooling off (after sweeping us), the Braves are no threat. And the Mets will in fact win this division for the second straight season! So when you think about it, the season may as well be over today!
I’m ready for October, are you?
PS… Great job by Pedro today, glad to have him back!