First the good news Met fans. The depleted Nationals will be back in two weeks for three more against the Amazin’s.
And now the bad. To get there, the Mets will have to play the Dodgers and Giants over the next 13 games.
Oh sure, wins are wins and even though the Nats really only have Juan Soto and a bunch of Triple-A players on it, the Mets need to feel good about this sweep.
It’s what they needed and the Mets are just a ½ game out of first after getting their rear-ends tarred in Philly over the weekend. Everything seemed to be working. They had comeback wins and crushing losses were averted.
“This club has some fight in them,” said Brandon Nimmo, who drove in all four runs in the first game of the doubleheader.
But now the varsity comes to down. The Dodgers are not the Nationals. They are the defending World Champs and not lie will lie down very easily. Julio Urias, Walker Buehler, and Max Scherzer will be on the mound and the Mets will not be able to make the same mistakes they got away with these last couple of days.
“It’s going to be a huge test for us,” said Pete Alonso, who preserved the sweep with a walk-off homer.
And that’s what the Mets need. They have to be tested to see if they are back to being contenders or not.
The good news for the Mets is that it seems like Michael Conforto and JD Davis are breaking out of season-long slump. They Mets as a whole seem to be using the whole field, which will force to keep infielders honest.
And today, the starting pitching lived up to its billing. Marcus Stroman and Trevor Williams were solid. Now the Mets have to hope that Taijuan Walker and Carlos Carrasco can follow suit.
Of course, the Mets think they will be ready.
“We get ready to play any team the same way,” said manager Luis Rojas. “We are not going to shy away from the run differential, which is unbelievable. I think every team is in the same weight class. We have to keep doing what we do.”
That means we will know a lot more about this team come two weeks from now. Are they going to be contenders or will the only meaningful game down the stretch will be the 9/11 memorial game?
The bottom line is the Mets are in a race right now. The Phillies and Braves smell blood and will not let up. Even though the standings are somewhat even right now, they Mets can’t let things get away too far that they are more than three games back when the Nats come back in.
Remember they are not leapfrogging one team, but two here.
Of course, to a man, they all talk about the things they can control. Right now they have 13 games in their hands to show the rest of baseball, they can be contenders and a force in October.
Hopefully by September, the Mets will have a better idea on Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard, but neither can help the club right now.
Instead, they have to play the hand they are have and hopefully come out unscathed.