By Brad Carroll
The Pittsburgh Pirates magic number to eliminate the New York Mets from postseason contention is just one, meaning if the Pirates win one of their final 10 games or the Mets lose one of their final nine, the Mets are done. But you already knew the Mets' season was over.
The Mets gave everyone hope they could make a postseason run when they won seven of eight games in early September, but the Nationals came into town after that and won three of four. The Mets followed that series loss by dropping two of three to the Marlins.
Just about the only thing to root for if you're a Mets fan over this final stretch is Jacob deGrom, who will get two more starts and two more chances to prove he's worth to win rookie of the year honors. He pitches Sunday afternoon.
The Mets sit in fourth place in the NL East, 1.5 games behind the Marlins and 3.5 back of the Braves, who they travel to face in a three-game series starting tonight. Here's a closer look at the Mets series in Atlanta.
New York Mets (73-80, 9.5 GB of second WC)
at Atlanta Braves (76-76, 6 GB of second WC)
Friday, 7:35 p.m.
Zack Wheeler (10-10, 3.61) vs. Julio Teheran (13-12, 2.89)
Saturday, 7:10 p.m.
Jonathon Niese (8-11, 3.55) vs. Mike Minor (6-11, 4.74)
Sunday, 1:35 p.m.
Jacob deGrom (8-6, 2.68) vs. Ervin Santana (14-9, 3.74)
Playoff Picture: The Mets are all but done, mathematically holding on by the slimmest of margins. Realistically, they have no shot. The Braves worked themselves right out of the playoff chase over the past two weeks as well, and sit six games back of the Pirates for the second wild card spot. The Braves have just 10 games left, so mathematically they are alive. In reality, they are done.
Momentum: The Mets have lost four of their last five games, including two of three to the Marlins in their last series. The Braves lost five games in a row before beating Washington Wednesday night. They are 2-8 over their last 10 games.
Who's Hot: Wilmer Flores is 9-for-19 (.474) with four runs, two doubles, a triple, three home runs and 10 RBI over his last six games. ... Juan Lagares is batting .389 over his last five games, while Curtis Granderson is .333 with four RBI over his last six games. ... deGrom, who goes Sunday, has allowed three earned runs over his last four starts, putting himself in position to win the National League Rookie of the Year award. ... For Atlanta, Phil Gosselin went 5-for-8 over his last two games. ... Andrelton Simmons went 7-for-22 (.318) with a pair of doubles over his last six games. ... Teheran, who starts Friday, allowed three hits and no earned runs over eight innings in his last start. He took the loss, though, allowing three unearned runs.
Who's Not: Dilson Herrera is 0-for-11 over his last four games. ... Daniel Murphy is 4-for-22 (.182) over his last five games. ... Kirk Nieuwenhuis is 1-for-his-last-14. ... Wheeler, who pitches Friday, allowed six runs on seven hits in four innings during a loss to Washington in his last start. ... For Atlanta, Justin Upton went 1-for-22 and Jason Heyward went 3-for-19 over their last six games. ... B.J. Upton is 3-for-14 over his last four games. ... Minor, who pitches Saturday, allowed five runs on eight hits in just 4.2 innings in his last start, losing to the Rangers.
Looking Ahead: After an off day Monday, the Mets travel to Washington for three games with the Nationals.