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Mets Morning News: Mets take first two in Philly, Nimmo nearing return

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

MLB: New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

Meet the Mets

The Mets secured a series victory in Philadelphia by tagging former Met Jason Vargas for five runs on four hits in five innings en route to a 6-3 victory. The red hot Wilson Ramos went 4-for-5 to extend his hitting steak to 24 games. Michael Conforto and Todd Frazier also had big days at the plate and the latter made a leaping grab with the bases loaded that likely saved three runs. Steven Matz was not as sharp as he has been in his recent starts, but he gave the Mets enough to win and the bullpen held firm in relief. After walking in a run, Luis Avilan bounced back to induce a key double play in the sixth. Jeurys Familia and Justin Wilson combined to pitch a scoreless seventh and Seth Lugo pitched two brilliant innings with four strikeouts to close things out for the Mets and earn his fourth save of the season.

Choose your recap: Amazin’ Avenue short and long, Daily News, MLB.com, Newsday, Post

Happy roster expansion day! As the calendar flips to September, reinforcements are on the way as the Mets try to stay in the NL Wild Card race. And Brandon Nimmo may very well be among them, along with several familiar bullpen arms.

Meanwhile, Robinson Cano is not too far behind Nimmo in his rehab. He played for the Brooklyn Cyclones on Saturday night, will take today off, and play in the Cyclones’ final regular season game on Monday, with an eye toward returning to the Mets on Tuesday in Washington—well ahead of schedule—as long as he feels good. “Thank God I don’t feel anything and hopefully I don’t feel anything when I play again Monday,” Cano said of his hamstring.

Ahead of yesterday’s game, the Mets optioned Chris Mazza back to Triple-A and brought up Walker Lockett.

Even with the odds still stacked against them, the Mets aren’t ready to give up on the Wild Card race yet.

In order to stay in the race, there are a few key things that need to happen. John Harper of MetsBlog give us seven Mets storylines to keep an eye on in September, including the races for Rookie of the Year, the batting title, and the Cy Young, all of which are within reach for a member of the Mets.

Around the National League East

The Nationals blanked the Marlins 7-0, as Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto each hit their 30th home run of the season in back-to-back fashion. Stephen Strasburg matched his season high with fourteen strikeouts over eight innings.

With his 30th bomb of the year, Juan Soto became the first player to collect 30 home runs in a season before age 21 since Frank Robinson.

Mark Zuckerman of MASN makes the case for Anthony Rendon as the NL MVP.

The Braves jumped all over the White Sox early, putting up a six spot in the first inning on the way to an 11-5 victory. While the Nationals (and the Mets) have surged, the Braves owned MLB’s best winning percentage in August, enabling them to stay out in front in the division.

The Braves plan to activate Brian McCann from the injured list for today’s game.

Rhys Hoskins was ejected in the third inning of yesterday’s game for the first time in his career.

The Phillies got some bad news on injured reliever Seranthony Dominguez, as he experienced soreness in his injured right elbow during his most recent throwing session. He has not pitched in a game for the Phillies since June 5. He had an initial diagnosis of UCL damage and the lack of progress would indicate that Tommy John surgery could be a possibility for Dominguez.

Around Major League Baseball

The Minnesota Twins broke the all-time single season team home run record with a month still left in the season.

Mike Trout became the youngest player in baseball history to record 200 stolen bases and 200 home runs, an honor previously held by Barry Bonds.

Richard Justice of MLB.com gives us seven bold predictions for the month of September.

Jay Jaffe of Fangraphs did an analysis of the most improved starting pitchers from last year to this year. Unsurprisingly, Lucas Giolito takes home top marks in that department.

We already know that the juiced baseball has different physical properties and reduced drag, enabling it to fly further. But Rob Arthur of Baseball Prospectus writes that it may be resulting in increased exit velocities as well.

Yesterday at Amazin’ Avenue

Ken Lavin brought us the Daily Prospect Report.

This Date in Mets History

On this date in 1975, Tom Seaver because the first pitcher in baseball history to record at least 200 strikeouts in eight straight seasons.