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Mets face Padres for chance to advance to NLDS

Wild Card bitches...yee haw!

MLB: San Diego Padres at New York Mets Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

After a season that saw them win 101 games—the second most in franchise history—the Mets will host a three-game Wild Card series against the Padres, who finished the season with 89 victories. San Diego dominated the season series, winning two out of three at both Petco Park and Citi Field, but once the postseason hits, you can basically throw that out the window.

The Mets bounced back after getting swept by the Braves by handily sweeping the inferior Nationals. They did their part, but Atlanta won one game against the Marlins, thus locking up the National League East on Tuesday night. It was a disappointing conclusion to a wonderful season for the Mets, who held first place for over 170 days, while the Braves occupied first place for just eight days. So it goes.

In their series against the Nationals, they were rained out on Monday before sweeping a doubleheader on Tuesday. They won a close one in the first game, taking it 4-2 behind Brandon Nimmo’s two-run double and solo homer later in the contest. In the nightcap, the Mets hit three consecutive home runs to start a game for the first time in franchise history—Nimmo, Francisco Lindor, and Jeff McNeil were the ones to enter the history books. It kicked off a seven-run frame, and the Mets added one later on Francisco Álvarez’s first career homer. They finished off the sweep with a 9-2 victory on a wet Wednesday after scoring three runs in each of the first three frames. The game was noteworthy for Terrence Gore collecting his first hit as a Met, and James McCann hitting a three-run home run—his first dinger in what seems like forever. McNeil, who locked up the batting title when Freddie Freeman merely went 3-for-4 in his game, sat out the game but came in for defense in the eighth to let Lindor get his standing ovation.

We can rehash the the many missed opportunities that led to the team blowing the NL East to the Braves, but the fact of the matter is the Mets are in the playoffs for the tenth time in franchise history, and have won more regular season games than all but one Mets team. Where they go from here relies entirely on if their offense finds the spark it had earlier in the year while also overcoming the likely absence of Starling Marte, and the starting pitching putting its performance in Atlanta behind it and stepping up to pitch as expected. But for now, it’s time to enjoy the ride, because as we’ve learned over a lifetime of rooting for this team, they don’t come around often and another run is never guaranteed.

San Diego finished their season by winning two of their three games against the Giants. It was a bounce back after they lost two of three to the White Sox and two of three to the Dodgers. Their 89 victories were the most in a single season since the 2010 Padres won 90 games. It’s their first playoff appearance since 2020, when they won two of three against the Cardinals before betting swept by Los Angeles in the NLDS. This is San Diego’s seventh trip to the postseason since coming into the league in 1969. They’ve gotten as far as the World Series twice—1984 and 1998—but have never won it all.

So how do these two teams stack up? On paper, the Mets hold a decided advantage in all the major categories. Offensively, the Mets scored 772 runs, good for third in the NL, while the Padres’ 705 runs came in eighth. In terms of wRC+, the Mets’ 116 was second in the NL, while San Diego’s 102 was seventh. Neither team strikes out a lot—the Mets’ 19.7% K% was the best in the NL, while the Padres’ 21.5% K% was fourth-best—and neither team homers at a particularly high clip—the Mets’ 171 homers was eight-best in the NL, while San Diego’s 153 was 12th most. The Mets also have an OPS advantage, .744 (fourth-best) to .700 (ninth-best).

The Mets also hold a slight edge on the pitching front as well. Their rotation’s 3.61 ERA came in second in the NL, while San Diego’s 3.80 ERA was seventh. In terms of the bullpen, the Mets’ relievers posted a 3.55 ERA (third-best in the NL), while the San Diego pen pitched to a 3.83 ERA (fifth-best). San Diego attempted to help their bullpen by acquiring Josh Hader, but he did not perform up to expectations with his new team. He posted a 7.31 ERA in 16 innings for the Padres, though he did allow just one unearned run over his last 9 13 innings to close out the season.

Padres Leaderboard

Player Category Stats Player Category Stats Player Category Stats
Player Category Stats Player Category Stats Player Category Stats
Manny Machado Home Runs 32 Joe Musgrove ERA 2.93 Robert Suarez ERA 2.27
Manny Machado Runs 100 Blake Snell FIP 2.8 Luis Garcia FIP 2.60
Manny Machado RBI 102 Yu Darvish WHIP 0.95 Nick Martinez WHIP 1.04
Manny Machado wRC+ 152 Yu Darvish IP 194.2 Nabil Crismatt IP 64.1
Manny Machado ISO .234 Yu Darvish W 16 Luis Garcia SV+HLD 22
Manny Machado Batting Average .298 Yu Darvish K 197 Luis Garcia K 68
Manny Machado OBP .366 Blake Snell K/9 12.02 Robert Suarez K/9 11.52
Manny Machado SLG .531 Yu Darvish BB/9 1.71 Nick Martinez BB/9 2.33
Manny Machado OPS .898 Blake Snell HR/9 0.77 Tim Hill HR/9 0.19
Manny Machado fWAR 7.4 Yu Darvish fWAR 4.2 Luis Garcia fWAR 1.6
*Qualified Hitters *Minimum 100.0 IP *minimum 40.0 IP

Friday, October 7: Yu Darvish vs. Max Scherzer, 8:07 p.m. on ESPN

Darvish (2022): 194.2 IP, 197 K, 37 BB, 22 HR, 3.10 ERA, 3.31 FIP, 0.95 WHIP, 4.5 bWAR

After a solid, if not inconsistent, first season in San Diego last year, Darvish roared back with with his best ERA over the course of a full 162-game campaign since his Rangers days. His 3.10 ERA was 11th among qualified NL starters, while his 0.95 WHIP was second among qualified NL starters and his 9.11 K/9 and 4.5 bWAR both came in seventh. He has routinely dominated the Mets in his career, pitching to a 2.56 ERA and 0.74 WHIP in 52 23 innings across eight starts. In two starts this year against New York, he combined to allow just one earned run while striking out 15 batters over 14 innings.

Scherzer (2022): 145.1 IP, 173 K, 24 BB, 13 HR, 2.29 ERA, 2.62 FIP, 0.91 WHIP, 5.3 bWAR

Scherzer’s season did not end on the best of notes. In his final appearance against Atlanta, he was tagged for four earned runs on nine hits over 5 23 innings. It was one of three bad starts that weekend that ended up sinking the team’s NL hopes. There’s no cause for concern, because in his two prior starts after coming off the IL, he pitched to a 0.75 ERA in 12 innings. Scherzer says he is not limited at all by his oblique, which should put Mets’ fans minds at ease heading into this start. In his one outing against San Diego this season, he allowed two earned runs on five hits with eight strikeouts over six innings.

Saturday, October 8: Blake Snell vs. Jacob deGrom, 7:37 p.m. on ESPN

Snell (2022): 128.0 IP, 171 K, 51 BB, 11 HR, 3.38 ERA, 2.80 FIP, 1.20 WHIP, 2.1 bWAR

After exiting before throwing a pitch in his first start and missing roughly five weeks, Snell returned and had a solid season for San Diego, establishing himself as the team’s second-best starter. He ended the year on a high note, posting a 0.72 ERA, a 2.31 FIP, and a 0.64 WHIP, with 32 strikeouts in 25.0 innings over four starts. The 2017 AL Cy Young Award winner pitched well against the Mets at Citi Field in July, tossing five shutout innings to earn the victory. His start at Petco Park did not go as well, as he was tattooed for five runs (four earned) on seven hits over four innings.

deGrom (2022): 64.1 IP, 102 K, 8 BB, 9 HR, 3.08 ERA, 2.13 FIP, 0.75 WHIP, 1.4 bWAR

deGrom didn’t end the season at his best, and his last start against Atlanta was no different. He gave up three solo home runs, representing the first time he’s surrendered three long balls in a start since May 2019. The team did reveal that a blood blister was developing, and that, along with a cut cuticle, may have been to blame, but this does not seem to be a concern heading into the postseason. There is a strong possibility that, should the Mets win on Friday, he may be swapped with Chris Bassitt and be saved for either a series-deciding third game, or the first game of the NLDS.

Sunday, October 9: Joe Musgrove vs. Chris Bassitt, 7:37 p.m. on ESPN*

*if necessary

Musgrove (2022): 181.0 IP, 184 K, 42 BB, 22 HR, 2.93 ERA, 3.59 FIP, 1.08 WHIP, 3.2 bWAR

Musgrove is coming off a season in which he made the All Star team for the first time in his career. Like Snell, he is coming into the postseason on a hot streak. Over his last four starts, he allowed just one earned run while striking out 27 over 22 innings. The Mets did knock around Musgrove in his one start against them on July 24 at Citi Field, hitting him to the tune of four earned runs on five hits over 5 13 innings in a loss.

Bassitt (2022): 181.2 IP, 167 K, 49 BB, 19 HR, 3.42 ERA, 3.66 FIP, 1.15 WHIP, 3.2 bWAR

Bassitt lasted a season-low 2 23 innings in his start against the Braves. Buck Showalter had a quick hook, but not quick enough as he had coughed up the 3-1 lead the Mets held and left with his team behind in the game. He had two great prior to that, allowing two earned runs over eight innings against the Athletics and shutting out the Pirates over six strong innings. He was hit hard by the Padres at Petco Park, allowing seven earned runs on eight hits over 3 13 innings. He did much better against San Diego at Citi Field, allowing two earned runs on four hits with a season-high 11 strikeouts over seven innings.

Prediction: Behind strong pitching performances from their starters, the Mets sweep the Padres to advance to the NLDS against the Dodgers.


How will the Mets fare in their Wild Card series against the Padres?

This poll is closed

  • 40%
    The Mets sweep San Diego away to advance to face the Dodgers.
    (76 votes)
  • 25%
    The Mets need three games, but they ultimately beat the Padres.
    (48 votes)
  • 11%
    The Mets lose two out of three yet again to San Diego, and this time it ends their season.
    (21 votes)
  • 7%
    The Mets are swept right out of the 2022 postseason by the Padres.
    (15 votes)
  • 15%
    (29 votes)
189 votes total Vote Now


Who should start Game 2 for the Mets?

This poll is closed

  • 25%
    Jacob deGrom
    (38 votes)
  • 14%
    Chris Bassitt
    (21 votes)
  • 60%
    Depends on who wins Game 1
    (90 votes)
149 votes total Vote Now