The Mets lost 3-2 on Sunday night with the Dodgers going ahead in the top of the ninth of a two-out single from Jedd Gyorko. New York is now four games out of a wild card spot with 13 games remaining.
Justin Wilson gave up the tying run in the eighth and Seth Lugo surrendered the go-ahead run an inning later. But Mickey Callaway didn’t blame his two most reliable (or is it only reliable) relievers.
“They’ve been so good and we’ve relied on them so much,” he said.
The Mets were left with what-ifs? What if Wilson didn’t lose his footing and commit a balk which put the tying run in scoring position? What if Amed Rosario put the Mets up 3-0 when he came up to the plate with Brandon Nimmo on third with one out? What if Zack Wheeler started the eighth inning instead of being removed despite throwing less than 100 pitches?
Callaway said Wheeler looked gassed after pitching out of jams.
“Looking at his face after looking at all the high-leverage pitches he made and then that last at-bat, striking that guy out, I mean you could just see he gave everything he could,” Callaway said.
Wheeler, who is sometimes the forgotten man on the staff with deGrom, Syndergaard and Matz, has arguably his finest moment as a Met tonight, keeping a dangerous Dodgers lineup at bay for seven innings in the most important start of his career.
The team has been counted out more than once. They were 40-50 at the All-Star break. They were five games out of the wild card with 29 to go after the Cubs came to Queens and swept them.
There are 13 games left against the Rockies, Reds, Marlins and a Braves team that will likely have the division clinched. And as Mets fans know from the good (1973, 1999) and bad (1998, 2007, 2008) it’s not over until they are officially eliminated.
“When their backs are against the wall, they do special things,” Callaway said. “They’ve proved that time and time again and I think they’re going to continue to prove that.”
There are less than two weeks remaining and two teams to jump to make the postseason. They’ll see if they have one more run in them.