The Mets’ 2023 season is set to come to its merciful end this weekend, as the team hosts the playoff-bound Phillies for three games in Queens that don’t mean much to either team. The Mets will miss the playoffs and finish the season with a losing record, and the Phillies are locked in to the first of the National League’s three Wild Card spots.
For the Mets, the series represents an opportunity to go out with a little bit of dignity. And for the Phillies, it’s all about staying healthy and lining up the pitching staff for a three-game series against the second Wild Card team—most likely the Diamondbacks at the time of this writing.
With Kodai Senga having recorded his 200th strikeout and Francisco Lindor having hit the 30/30 mark already, there’s one milestone that could be reached this weekend if things break right: Pete Alonso hitting his 50th home run. Alonso has 46 home runs on the season, and he’s already the only Met to have ever hit 50 home runs in a single season and to have multiple seasons with 40 home runs or more. It would take quite a tear this weekend to get to 50, but hey, it could happen.
Thanks to yet another period of very heavy rain and flooding in New York City, the series opener that was scheduled to take place tonight has already been postponed. The teams are instead scheduled to play a single-admission doubleheader on Saturday.
Saturday, September 30, Game 1: Tylor Megill vs. Taijuan Walker, 4:10 PM EDT on SNY
Megill (2023): 119.0 IP, 98 K, 56 BB, 18 HR, 4.92 ERA, 5.14 FIP, 1.622 WHIP, -0.1 bWAR
The 28-year-old Megill has struggled with the Mets this season, the third one in which he’s spent time at the major league level. He’s improved his season numbers lately, though, with a 3.27 ERA over four starts in the month of September, albeit with a 5.67 FIP.
Walker (2023): 165.2 IP, 135 K, 67 BB, 19 HR, 4.35 ERA, 4.46 FIP, 1.316 WHIP, 2.4 bWAR
Walker hasn’t been able to match the 3.49 ERA he put up last year as part of the Mets’ rotation, but there’s been value in what he’s done for the Phillies. His strikeout, walk, and home run rates don’t look all that different at first glance, but the combination of the three has his FIP sitting nearly a full run higher than it did last year, too.
Saturday, September 30, Game 2: José Quintana vs. TBD on SNY
Quintana (2023): 71.2 IP, 55 K, 24 BB, 4 HR, 3.39 ERA, 3.45 FIP, 1.284 WHIP, 1.7 bWAR
Among starting pitchers who have thrown at least 50 innings for the Mets this year, Quintana ranks third with his 3.39 ERA. Only Kodai Senga and Justin Verlander have been better in that regard, and Verlander is obviously not on the team anymore. As expected, Quintana hasn’t racked up strikeouts, but he’s limited walks and been especially good at limiting home runs. The Mets will need more than 13 starts out of him next year if they’re going to be any good, but what Quintana has done on the mound has been impressive ever since he returned from surgery that knocked him out of the first half of the season.
Sunday, October 1: José Butto vs. TBD, 3:10 PM EDT on SNY
Butto (2023): 36.0 IP, 34 K, 21 BB, 2 HR, 3.75 ERA, 3.84 FIP, 1.361 WHIP, 0.7 bWAR
The Mets’ rotation has featured several pitchers who are trying to prove they deserve major league playing time next year, and Butto has been much better lately than he had been in his first handful of major league appearances. In September, he has a 3.38 ERA and a 2.60 FIP with 24 striekouts and 7 walks in 21.2 innings of work. It’s hard to read too much into stats over such a brief period of time, but it’s been encouraging to see Butto competing at the major league level.
Prediction: The Mets wrap up the season on a relatively happy note by taking two of three in their final series of the year.
How will the Mets fare in their three-game series with the Philies?
This poll is closed
The Gang Gets Invincible: The Mets sweep!
The Gang Cracks the Liberty Bell: The Mets take two of three.
The World Series Defense: The Phillies take two of three.
Who Pooped the Bed?: The Mets get swept.