To reach the playoffs, the New York Mets have to win Wednesday. Then win again Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. And they’ll need the Milwaukee Brewers to lose Wednesday. Then lose again Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
And even if all that happens, all the Mets would get out of it is a one-game playoff on Monday to determine the second National League wild-card team.
But hey, all that beats the alternative the Mets were staring down in the ninth inning Tuesday night.
The Mets will look to stave off elimination for one more night Wednesday, when they host the Miami Marlins in the third game of a four-game series.
Jacob deGrom (10-8, 2.51 ERA) will get one more chance to burnish his case to repeat as the NL Cy Young Award winner when he takes the mound for the Mets against the Marlins’ Robert Dugger (0-3, 4.45 ERA) in a battle of right-handers.
The Mets remained alive in the wild card race by the slimmest of margins Tuesday night, when they overcame a four-run, seventh-inning deficit thanks to a pair of two-run homers by Michael Conforto before Brandon Nimmo worked a bases-loaded walk in the 11th inning for a 5-4 win.
Wins earlier in the day by the Brewers and Washington Nationals meant the Mets (82-75) would have been eliminated with a loss. New York will be officially out of contention with one more loss or one more win by the Brewers (87-70), whose Wednesday game against the Cincinnati Reds is scheduled to begin a half-hour before deGrom throws his first pitch.
The Nationals (88-69) have already clinched a wild-card spot.
“We’re going to keep on fighting,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. “As long as there’s a chance, we’re going to keep on going. We’ve seen in a five-game stretch, anything is possible.”
The Marlins (55-102) will look to do their part to knock the Mets out of contention by playing as they did Tuesday. Rookie right-hander Sandy Alcantara threw seven innings of two-run ball, and Jon Berti tied a franchise record by stealing four bases for Miami, which swiped six bases overall.
Berti also had a unique RBI single in the second, when he beat out an infield hit as Austin Dean scored from second.
“That’s about probably as good a game as we kind of play,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “A lot of things went our way. We put some hits on the board, we were able to put the game in motion. Sandy threw the ball well.”
DeGrom continued his Cy Young push last Friday, when he earned the win by allowing four hits over seven scoreless innings as the Mets beat the Cincinnati Reds, 8-1. He has given up one run over his past three starts, a span of 21 innings, while striking out 28 and walking one.
Duggar took the loss last Friday, when he allowed four runs over five innings as the Marlins fell 6-4 to the Washington Nationals.
In 21 career starts against the Marlins, deGrom is 8-7 with a 3.44 ERA. Duggar faced the Mets in his major league debut Aug. 5, when he took the loss after giving up six runs over five innings as Miami fell 6-2.
–Field Level Media