As if winning 13 times in their previous 14 games wasn’t enough, the New York Mets proved they are back in the postseason race for real Friday night.
The Mets mounted a three-run comeback against Nationals closer Sean Doolittle on Friday, and walked off with a win on Michael Conforto’s rocket single to right field (NYM 7, WAS 6). The win temporarily moved the Mets into a tie with the Brewers for the second wild-card spot (Milwaukee’s outcome is still pending Friday).
Todd Frazier blasted a game-tying three-run home run against Doolittle, setting Conforto up for the walk-off single. Here’s the ninth inning rally:
“We don’t win this game tonight if it wasn’t for our fans. That was unbelievable,” manager Mickey Callaway said following the game, referring to the electric Citi Field crowd.
Added Conforto: “Today was probably the most fun I’ve had up here in the big leagues.”
According to FanGraphs, the Mets had a 3.2 percent chance to win Friday’s game entering the ninth inning. Doolittle’s meltdown was his worst of the season — he was charged with four runs on six hits in two-thirds of an inning — and it came at the worst possible time for Washington.
The Mets have won 14 of their last 15 games and, in the span of a month, they’ve gone from having the second-worst record in the National League to sitting in a postseason spot. SportsLine puts their postseason odds at 24.8 percent. It was 2.6 percent at the All-Star break.
, Friday was the start of a grueling stretch for the Mets. Prior to Friday’s game they’d played two — two! — games against winning teams since the All-Star break. Including Friday, 27 of their next 34 games will be against winning teams. That’s tough, but it is what it is.
For now, the Mets have climbed back into the wild-card race, which seemed impossible even a month ago, And, frankly, that was the easy part. Staying in postseason position and fending off the Brewers, Cardinals, Phillies and Nationals (and others?) is where it gets tough, but the Mets certainly looked up to the task Friday night.