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Mets Morning News: Mets prepare for more meaningful August and September baseball

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Your Tuesday morning dose of New York Mets and MLB news, notes, and links

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MLB: Washington Nationals at New York Mets Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Meet the Mets

The Mets were off last night, but they are back in action today at Citi Field as they kick off a critical three-game series with the Wild Card-leading Chicago Cubs. Marcus Stroman will be opposed by Yu Darvish in the contest.

On Wednesday, August 28, Jeff McNeil will honor Tom Seaver and help raise awareness for Dementia at an RPM Raceway Fundraiser. McNeil, along with RPM Raceway Representatives and a lucky fan, will complete 41 laps around RPM Raceway’s quarter-mile track in honor of “Tom Terrific”, who wore number 41 during his playing days. Doors will open at 10:30am, and McNeil will hang around for photos and a meet-and-greet with fans until 12:15pm. Proceeds from all races throughout the day will be donated to Alzheimer’s New Jersey. Donations can also be made to the cause through Alzheimer New Jersey’s site. Fans are invited to come watch the Wednesday night game against the Cubs at RPM Raceway while racing, playing arcade games or billiards, and enjoying snacks at the Clutch Snack Bar.

The Mets, winners of 27 of their last 40, have been red hot, but they showed some of their shortcomings during a three-game sweep at the hands of the Atlanta Braves.

Joel Sherman looks at how much can change over the course of 32 games as he looks at the remainder of the schedule.

The Mets will play 20 of those final 32 games at Citi Field, where they have won 14 of their last 19 games. Tom Verducci examines a shift in their offensive philosophy—brought upon by new hitting coach Chili Davis—which helped them turn around their home fortunes.

The Mets are still within striking distance of the Wild Card, but they face the possibility of fatigue down the stretch after a full-court press got them back into the race. (Paywall alert)

The Mets understand the fragility of their playoff dream as they head in to face the Wild Card leaders, writes Mike Puma.

The Mets could be getting Brandon Nimmo back by the end of the week. Before he can return, the team will ask him to play consecutive full games in the outfield, which will likely happen on Tuesday and on Wednesday. Nimmo hasn’t appeared in a major league game since May 20.

In a weekly inbox, Anthony DiComo answers questions about the team’s playoff odds, Jacob deGrom’s chance to win a second consecutive National League Cy Young Award, where Nimmo will hit in the lineup upon his return, and more.

J.D. Davis was awarded the MLB Play of the Week for his spectacular catch on Thursday night against the Cleveland Indians.

Around the National League East

Bryce Harper and his wife welcomed the birth of their son, Krew Aron Harper.

Sean Rodriguez hit a walk-off home run for the Philadelphia Phillies in the 11th inning as they bested the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-5.

The Braves saw their eight-game winning streak come to an end as they suffered a walk-off defeat against the Colorado Rockies.

The Miami Marlins were doubled up by the Cincinnati Reds 6-3.

Anthony Rendon of the Nationals earned MLB Player of the Week honors. The soon-to-be free agent third baseman hit .483/.543/.793 with two home runs and a 232 wRC+.

Around Major League Baseball

Mark Canha of the Oakland Athletics was named American League Player of the Week. The outfielder slashed an unbelievable .474/.524/1.158 with four home runs and a 329 wRC+ over the past week.

Speaking of Oakland, the A’s have announced that all children 12 and under will get into the remaining September regular season games for free. On top of that, adults who purchase a regularly priced ticket will get two free tickets for kids.

In a game that is of interest to both teams playing at Citi Field tonight, the St. Louis Cardinals pulverized the Milwaukee Brewers 12-3 at Miller Park. The loss dropped Milwaukee a half-game back of the Mets, two-and-a-half games back of the Cubs in the Wild Card, and five-and-a-half back of the Cardinals in the National League Central.

Yesterday at Amazin’ Avenue

Allison McCague gave us this week’s Player Performance Meter and Pitcher Performance Meter. The pitchers were mostly good while the position players struggled.

A new episode of From Complex to Queens went up, which featured the return of Steve Sypa.

Josh Trupin looked at 2018 7th round pick Kevin Smith, who has received mixed reactions from scouts and talent evaluators.

This Date in Mets History

On this date in 1969, Jerry Koosman tossed a complete game and allowed two hits on the mound while picking up up two hits at the plate in the teams’ 4-1 win over the San Diego Padres. The victory completed a three-game sweep, where all three starting pitchers—Koosman, Jim McAndrew, and Tom Seaver—pitched complete games.