2020 has been a very rough season for the Mets and last night in DC they kept their slim playoff hopes alive as David Peterson once again proved he will be a member of this rotation while at the same time Dominic Smith continued his hot hitting with 2 more doubles proving why the Mets must find regular at bats for him come next season.
Peterson has been such a pleasant surprise showing confidence and poise whenever he took the mound as he earned his sixth win of the season which will make him only the sixth rookie in team history to lead the team in wins and the first since Dillon Gee did it in 2011.
“He has such poise”, said manager Luis Rojas, “and has shown it on numerous occasions which is very rare for a young pitcher.” He has a great slider and change up but I have noticed he is now becoming more comfortable in his fastball which makes him a tough hurler to develop a game plan against for Met opponents.
And Dominic Smith has clearly taken full advantage of the Cespredes opt-out which provided him with more at bats putting him among the league leaders in so many offensive categories. His presence might make the Mets have to make some tough decisions in the off-season as he must get regular playing time. Assuming the DH is still in force across the sport in 2021, he can get those plate appearances and the most likely scenario will be Alonso DH-ing with Dom playing first. Or possibly putting Dom in the outfield limiting the at bats of JD Davis as it appears both Robinson Cano and Jeff McNeil have earned regular at bats day in and day out in 2021.
As for the Met playoff hopes they are still hanging on a thread but it would seem the easiest path is a very remote one. They would need to take the next 3 in DC (a tall order for sure) plus hope both the Phils and Marlins get swept by the Rays and Yankees which would put the Mets 1 game ahead of the Phils and be tied with the Marlins whom the Mets earn a tiebreaker with as the won the season series from Miami.
Otherwise, they would be in a tough spot since they can not catch the Reds who have a 3 game lead on Mets and own the tiebreaker. So they would need to pass The Giants (they trail by 2 and a half games) and the Brewers whom they trail by one and a half games. They do potentially own the tiebreaker over the Brewers and Giants should they win out while Brewers split with Cardinals and the Giants lose 3 of 4 to the Padres. But in that scenario, they must also pass one of the teams in their own division.
Clearly a remote shot but I remember in 1999 when the Mets trailed both the Brewers and Reds by 2 games with 3 games left and earned a playoff spot. So anything is possible but it is likely come Sunday the Mets will not be playoff bound and need to focus on a 2021 roster that HAS to feature David Peterson and Dom Smith as 2 key pieces to their plans for next season.