The New York Mets (72-75) may insist they still have a chance at making the playoffs but the math says otherwise. A three-game sweep at the hands of the St. Louis Cardinals has left the Mets 5.5 games out of the National League East lead and five out of the Wild Card, leaving their postseason odds at just two percent. The only recourse the Mets have is to start racking up wins quickly, beginning with this weekend’s massive three-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies (74-72). First pitch for the opener is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. at Citi Field.
Right-hander Taijuan Walker (7-9, 4.29 ERA) will take the mound for the Mets tonight. Walker struggled early in his last start, giving up five runs against the New York Yankees last Saturday, but rebounded nicely to last six innings and leave in line for a win. The Mets’ bullpen blew a lead for Walker, however, leaving him with a no-decision as the Mets lost 8-7. The Phillies will counter with former Met Zack Wheeler (13-9, 2.86 ERA), who is firmly in the National League’s Cy Young race. Wheeler was brilliant against the Colorado Rockies last Saturday, allowing just one run in 6.2 innings to pick up his 13th victory of the season.
New York Mets Lineup:
— New York Mets (@Mets) September 17, 2021
- The Mets are 8-8 against the Phillies this season and got swept in a three-game series at Citizen’s Bank Park when these teams last met in early August.
- The Mets are 5-2 against the Phillies at Citi Field this season and split a four-game series against them when Philadelphia last came to New York in late June.
- Walker is 0-1 with a 3.80 ERA in four starts against the Phillies this season.
- Wheeler is 2-1 with a 2.15 REA in four starts against the Mets in 2021.
- The Mets have activated outfielder Brandon Nimmo (hamstring) from the 10-day injured list. RHP Jake Reed was optioned to AAA Syracuse to make room for Nimmo on the active roster.
- The Mets also activated RHP Jordan Yamamoto from the 60-day injured list and optioned him to AAA Syracuse. LHP Thomas Szapucki was promoted to the big-league roster and placed on the 60-day injured list to create a 40-man roster spot for Yamamoto.
- Nimmo is back in the Mets’ lineup batting second and playing center field.
- Didi Gregorius (4 for 14, 2B, RBI), J.T. Realmuto (2 for 6, HR, RBI), Jean Segura (3 for 8, HR, RBI) and Ronald Torreyes (3 for 7, 2 2B, RBI) have good numbers against Walker.
- Pete Alonso (5 for 15, 2B, RBI), J.D. Davis (5 for 13, 2 2B, HR, 4 RBI), Francisco Lindor (3 for 9, 2B), Nimmo (6 for 22, 2 2B), Jose Peraza (2 for 6, 2B, RBI) and Dominic Smith (8 for 20, 2B, 2 RBI) have done well against Wheeler in the past.