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Mets finish off 2021 season with three against NL East champs

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Both the Mets and the Braves will have nothing to play for this weekend.

Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves Photo by Adam Hagy/Getty Images

The Mets (76-83) will conclude their season with three games against the Braves (86-72), who are coming off clinching the National League East yesterday. New York and Atlanta have split the season series so far, with each side winning eight games.

The Mets said good-bye to the Flushing Faithful by taking three out of four games against the Marlins, which helped them win the season series 10-9 against Miami. They swept a doubleheader on Tuesday, winning the first game 5-2. In what could be his last start as a Met, Marcus Stroman earned his 10th victory of the year thanks to five solid innings. Francisco Lindor drove in one with a single in the first, and New York added two in the third. Miami closed the gap on Lewin Diaz’s two-run homer, but Lindor added some breathing room with a two-run home run of his own in the sixth.

The Mets took the nightcap 2-1 in come-from-behind and walk-off fashion. Noah Syndergaard made his first appearance on a major league mound since the last game of the 2019 season and was spotless in his one inning of work. Trevor Williams surrendered a home run on the first pitch he threw in relief, but then was good over the rest of his outing. The Mets tied it on a Kevin Pillar single in the fifth, and won it on when James McCann hit a grounder to the pitcher that he couldn’t cleanly handle, allowing Javier Báez to score the game-deciding run.

The Mets fell on Wednesday by a 3-2 margin. Michael Conforto hit a 469 ft blast, which was the longest home run by a Met this season (and possibly his last as a member of the team). They carried a two-run lead into the eighth, when Taijuan Walker surrendered a double and a walk and was lifted for Seth Lugo, who allowed both runs to score and added a run of his own to put New York behind for good.

The Mets capped off the home season with a resounding 12-3 win over the Marlins on Thursday. Rich Hill got the start in what could be the final outing of his Mets major league career and went five to pick up first victory in orange and blue. It was a back-and-forth affair until the Mets dropped four in the fourth to open up a 6-3 lead. It remained that way into the eighth, when Lindor connected on a Grand Slam to open up the game. In possibly his final at-bat in front of the Citi Field crowd, Conforto doubled, and then Pete Alonso hit a two-run homer—his second dinger of the contest—off catcher Sandy Leon to put the game away. Conforto also made a nice diving play in the top of the ninth, and was misty-eyed as he got a nice ovation from the Mets fans.

It is very likely Conforto has played his final game as a Mets, and the home fans made their feelings know. The outfielder has struggled all season, but he provided four hits in 14 at-bats against the Marlins to close out on a high note. In seven years with the Mets, Scooter has hit .254/.356/.467 with 131 home runs, a 124 wRC+, and a 16.9 fWAR in 755 games. The club will likely extend him a Qualifying Offer, but it is uncertain whether he would entertain accepting this offer. His 66 home runs at Citi Field are second only to the Good first baseman, who hit 71 at the home ballpark during his career.

Lindor also picked up four hits in 14 at-bats against Miami, including two home runs. He finished September with nine home runs, which were tied for his most in a single calendar month. Lindor, who has also had what will be considered a down year in his first go-around in Queens, has picked it up down the stretch, hitting .267/.359/.574 with a 148 wRC+ in September.

The Braves are coming off a sweep of the Phillies, which helped them clinch the National League East title for the fourth straight season. The accomplishment is all the more impressive when you consider that Atlanta lost Ronald Acuña Jr. at right around the mid-way point of the season, and they have played their best ball in the second half. Since joining the National League East in 1995, they have won the division 16 times, which is far and away the most of any club in the East. The Phillies, meanwhile, have won it five times, the Nationals four times, and the Mets twice.

Atlanta could not have done it without last year’s NL MVP Freddie Freeman, who won’t win the award this year but should still get some votes. The first baseman, who is a pending free agent at year’s end, is slashing .298/.391/.503 with 31 homers, a team-high 119 runs scored, a 135 wRC+, and a team-best 4.3 fWAR in 157 games. Austin Riley’s breakout campaign has also been a big boost to the Braves. Riley is hitting .303/.368/.532 with a team-high 31 homers and 105 runs batted in, a team-best 136 wRC+, and a 4.1 fWAR in 157 games. Ozzie Albies has also had his best season at the major league level, as the second baseman has posted a .258/.310/.486 slash line with 30 home runs, 104 runs batted in, 102 runs scored, a 106 wRC+, and a 3.9 fWAR in 154 games.

Friday, October 1: Tylor Megill vs. Huascar Ynoa, 7:20 p.m. on SNY

Megill (2021): 84.2 IP, 93 K, 26 BB, 19 HR, 4.78 ERA, 4.88 FIP, 1.34 WHIP, 0.4 bWAR

Megill will close out his rookie season on Friday after getting pushed back. His rookie campaign started off well but has gone downhill as his innings have increased, which is to be expected with younger pitchers who are going beyond their usual workload. In his last start against the Brewers, home runs once again hurt him, as all four runs scored via the long ball. This has been a recurring problem, as the young right-hander has given up 19 dingers on the season. Overall, he allowed four earned runs on five hits. He issued a career-high four walks while striking out two over four innings. In his last two starts since that incredible ten-strikeout performance against the Yankees, he has allowed ten earned runs on 14 hits over seven innings. He has also surrendered 12 home runs over his last six starts.

Ynoa (2021): 86.0 IP, 94 K, 23 BB, 13 HR, 3.98 ERA, 3.88 FIP, 1.08 WHIP, 1.8 bWAR

In his first full season at the major league level, Ynoa has been solid for Atlanta, though an unfortunate injury cost him three months earlier in the year after he broke his hand punching a wall in frustration following a subpar outing. That kept Ynoa from truly having a terrific campaign, and he’s been up-and-down since his return. Prior to the injury, he had a 3.02 ERA, a 3.77 FIP, and a 1.05 WHIP with a 27.9% K% in 44.2 innings. Since returning, he owns a 5.01 ERA, a 4.01 FIP, a 1.11 WHIP, and a 25.7% K% in 41.1 innings. His last outing didn’t help those numbers as he was tagged for seven earned runs over 4.2 innings. He has failed to complete five innings of work over his last three appearances.

Saturday, October 2: Trevor Williams vs. TBD, 7:15 p.m. on FOX

Williams (2021): 86.0 IP, 85 K, 29 BB, 11 HR, 4.29 ERA, 3.96 FIP, 1.51 WHIP, 0.4 bWAR

Williams will get the nod on Saturday after pitching four innings in relief of Syndergaard in Game 2 of Tuesday’s doubleheader. After surrendering a home run on the first pitch he threw, he settled down and pitched four solid innings to keep the Mets in the ballgame long enough to win it. Williams has been a solid pick-up for New York and, sans for a couple of bad relief outings, he has actually been really strong in his starts. As a member of the Mets, he has pitched to a 2.63 ERA, a 2.76 FIP, and a 1.46 WHIP in 27.1 innings.

TBD

The Braves have not yet named a starting pitcher for Saturday’s game against the Mets.

Sunday, October 3: Noah Syndergaard vs. TBD, 3:20 p.m. on SNY

Syndergaard (2021): 1.0 IP, 2 K, 0 BB, 0 HR, 0.00 ERA, -0.84 FIP, 0.00 WHIP, 0.1 bWAR

Syndergaard will make what could be his last ever appearance as a member of the Mets on Sunday in Atlanta, though he made it perfectly clear in his season debut that he would love to remain, and would almost certainly take a Qualifying Offer if presented to him. You couldn’t ask much more from Thor than what he gave the team in his first appearance post-Tommy John Surgery, as he struck out two in one clean inning of work. His fastball looked about as good as you could have hoped in his first appearance off the injured list, and he didn’t seem to have any jitters in what was his first appearance on a major league mound since September 2019. It’s unclear whether he will be held to one inning or whether he could see another inning of action this time around.

TBD

The Braves have not yet named a starting pitcher for Sunday’s game against the Mets.

Prediction: The Mets will take two out of three in Atlanta.

Poll

How will the Mets fare in their three game series against the Braves?

This poll is closed

  • 19%
    The Mets close the year out with a sweep!
    (11 votes)
  • 15%
    The Mets take two out of three from the division champs.
    (9 votes)
  • 24%
    The Mets take one, but ultimately drop the series.
    (14 votes)
  • 14%
    The Mets limp into the offseason after getting swept by the Braves.
    (8 votes)
  • 26%
    Pizza! (One final slice before the offseason)
    (15 votes)
57 votes total Vote Now