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Mets Morning News: Mets win, cut magic number to three, American League playoff race could get wacky

Your Friday morning dose of Mets and Major League Baseball news, notes, and links.

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Meet the Mets

The Mets beat the Reds last night, and the Nationals lost. That leaves the Mets' magic number at three and gives the team the opportunity to clinch the division very soon, especially if the Nationals lose another game at some point this weekend.

Choose your recap: Amazin' Avenue long and shortNewsdayDaily, or Times.

Jared Diamond has a fun piece in the Wall Street Journal in which he polled a bunch of Mets players about each other.

Steven Matz pitched decently in the game and could very well find himself making postseason starts for the Mets. He sounded happy with the way the game went last night.

Before their win last night, the Mets had a 3-6 home stand that had a lot of Mets fans feeling at least a little bit anxious about the team's postseason fate. Marc Carig looked at whether or not a team's regular season record in the final month of the season means anything in terms of playoff success. Mike Vorkunov did, too. Hint: it doesn't.

With both the Mets and Yankees playing well this season, New York is feeling like a baseball town.

Don't grade the Carlos Gomez and Yoenis Cespedes trades just yet, writes Grant Brisbee, though like anyone else who watches baseball, he says things are looking much better for the Mets than the Astros at the moment.

Around the NL East

Have we mentioned that the Nationals lost? Well, they did, as they were swept by the Orioles at home.

The Marlins beat the Phillies in a game that affected no one. But Miami is said to be considering hiring Dusty Baker as its next manager.

Around MLB

Major League Baseball has been cracking down on fan-created GIFs on Twitter. That's probably not a great strategy.

The Yankees beat Chris Sale and the White Sox last night thanks to a three-run home run from Carlos Beltran and just enough pitching to make those three runs hold up for a victory. So they're three games back of the Blue Jays, who were dormant last night, in the American League East.

The Twins lost, which leaves them tied with the Angels. Both teams are 1.5 games back of the Houston Astros, who are in the second Wild Card spot. And Houston is set to play the Rangers, who they trail by 3.5 games in the American League West, in a series this weekend. In short, the playoff picture in the American League is a lot more up-in-the-air than it is in the National League.

Yesterday on Amazin' Avenue

The 2006 Mets struggled down the stretch, which didn't really matter in the playoffs at all.

The 2015 Mets' World Series odds are good.

Speaking of good, how about Michael Conforto?

Aaron Yorke previewed the series as always, and with three games left in it, there's still plenty of previewin' to be done.

Terry Collins might abandon platoons in the playoffs, but we're hoping we can file this under "Things Terry Says" and forget it ever happened.

This date in Mets history

On this date in 1977, New York City was not awarded a bid for the 1984 Olympics. If it had been, Shea Stadiums' capacity would have increased to 90,000 as the upper deck would have been augmented to wrap around the entire outfield.