By Declan Finn
With the New York Mets losing the nightcap of a doubleheader against the Washington Nationals Thursday night, it clinched a sixth straight losing season in Queens. The Mets and Houston Astros are tied for the longest current streak of non-winning seasons in the majors. Fittingly, in some way, those two teams will close out the 2014 season against each other at Citi Field starting Friday night.
Even though the Mets didn't get that winnings season, they did put together a September to remember. For a couple of weeks in the middle of the month, Mets fans got to experience an actual playoff race for the first time in a long time. Even when the team was eliminated from the wild card race, fans still had the opportunity to cheer for a possible winning season with just four games left on the schedule. And, something that is still there for the taking, is second place in the NL East.
The Mets, Braves and Marlins will battle for spots 2-4 in the division race over the final three days of the season. The Mets and Braves are currently tied for second, while the Marlins are a half-game back of both teams. The Mets are playing Houston, Atlanta will be at Philadelphia, and Miami will be at the Nationals for four games, with a doubleheader Friday.
It's not much, but it's something to latch onto as the Mets close out the 2014 season. For the final time, here is a closer look at the three-game series between the Mets and Astros.
Houston Astros (69-90, fourth place AL West)
at New York Mets (77-82, second place NL East)
Friday, 7:10 p.m.
Jonathon Niese (9-11, 3.50) vs. Brad Peacock (4-9, 4.82)
Saturday, 7:10 p.m.
Rafael Montero (1-3, 4.38) vs. Samuel Deduno (2-6, 4.66)
Sunday, 1:10 p.m.
Bartolo Colon (14-13, 4.08) vs. Nick Tropeano (1-2, 3.78)
Momentum: The Mets followed a three-game sweep of the Atlanta Braves by losing two of three to the Washington Nationals. The Mets dropped the series opener Tuesday and then split a doubleheader Thursday against the Nationals to clinch a losing season. The Astros have lost seven of their last nine games and come into this series after getting swept in three games by the Texas Rangers.
Who's Hot: Curtis Granderson has a six-game hit streak, going 10-for-21 (.476) with three doubles, a home run and four RBI. ... Kirk Nieuwenhuis went 6-for-17 (.353) over his last five games with four doubles and two RBI. ... Niese, who starts Friday, allowed two runs in 7.1 innings in a victory over the Braves last week. ... For Houston, Jake Marisnick has a seven-game hit streak, going 10-for-26 (.385) with two doubles, two home runs and eight RBI over that span. ... Jose Altuve is 9-for-22 (.409) with three doubles and three RBI over his last six games. ... Dexter Fowler has a six-game hit streak, going 10-for-25 (.400) with a double and two RBI over that span.
Who's Not: Daniel Murphy went 2-for-13 (.154) in three games against Washington. ... Eric Young Jr. went 1-for-13 (.077) in his last four games. ... Colon allowed four runs in six innings during a loss to the Nationals in his last start. ... For Houston, Jason Castro is 1-for-19 (.053) over his last six games. ... Chris Carter went 0-for-9 in three games against Texas. ... Peacock, who goes Friday, lasted just 3.1 innings in his last start, allowing seven runs, two earned, in a loss to Seattle. ... Tropeano, who starts Sunday, has lost his last two starts.
Looking Ahead: We will have our Mets Pay Him or Slay Him feature, as well as our 5 Up and 5 Down list for the entire season in the coming days at gamedayishere.com.