There was an atrocious simplicity to the Mets’ expanse successful Atlanta.
No cosmic atrocious luck, nary pratfalls, nary ill-timed wounded — nary of the “lol that’s truthful Mets” episodes that person conditioned the team’s fans to support their hearts.
No, it was conscionable a truly bully squad losing to an adjacent amended team. Three times successful a row. The Braves deed better. They pitched better. They ran the bases better, and they caught the ball. They tilted the play bid to 10-9 Braves. That’s the justness of a 162-game season.
The NL East tragic fig is 1 now. Only a monolithic plaything successful luck — a Braves meltdown, let’s telephone it — volition support the Mets, masters of the part for the tally of 156 games, from being bracketed into a best-of-three wild-card bid starting Friday astatine Citi Field against the Padres (probably) oregon Phillies.
What was much galling astir this weekend: The 4s and 5s the Mets allowed connected the scoreboard oregon the 2s and 3s they enactment up?
The front-line pitching is expected to beryllium what distinguishes the Mets adjacent from their chap top-five clubs successful the sport. But Jacob deGrom got touched up. Max Scherzer got knocked astir worse. Chris Bassitt was even worse than that.
Yet those look similar hiccups erstwhile you zoom out. The offense’s paper-cutting felt much emblematic. Dansby Swanson and Matt Olson deed a combined 22 location runs (OK, lone six). Francisco Lindor and Pete Alonso had none. The hoops aphorism astir teams without shooting suffering from a “math problem” — a 2-point marque is worthy little than a 3-point marque — seems to astir apply. The Mets grind retired at-bats, nutrient 3 well-struck singles and people 1 run. The Braves reply with a bloop and a blast; that’s 2 runs. The Mets went 9-for-41 (all singles) successful the bid with runners connected base, including 3-for-18 connected Sunday night.
OK, but however overmuch did the expanse truly alteration for the Mets?
On Friday morning, they had to triumph 11 postseason games for the trophy. Today, they person to triumph 13.
On Friday, they (probably) had to spell done the Dodgers or Braves to triumph the pennant. Today, they (probably) person to bushed them both. (Unless it’s the Cardinals successful the NLCS, which ever ends well.)
On Friday, they could person looked guardant to mounting up the rotation for the Division Series, making definite they had deGrom oregon Scherzer to transportation Game 1 and a imaginable Game 5 connected regular rest. Today, they can’t expect much than 1 Division Series outing apiece (if they advance) from the co-aces and would fig to person Bassitt, Carlos Carrasco oregon Taijuan Walker successful the Games-1-and-5 turn.
If you’re of the championship-or-bust mentality, sure, that makes the coming week(s) much difficult. But it was ever going to beryllium difficult.
Three losses successful Atlanta don’t erase the unexpected delights of the past six months, the 98 wins (and counting), the trumpeting of an emerging contender.
The much achy re-orienting is this: For now, that’s each the Mets are, a contender, inactive looking up astatine the champs.
The sweep’s backmost pages
Two wins, 1 acquainted QB question
The clip for reasoning playoffs, for docket parsing and scoreboard watching, volition come. Or, much likely, it won’t.
FiveThirtyEight, for a bloodless look astatine NFL postseason probabilities, projects the 3-1 Giants with a 35 percent accidental to scope the playoffs. The Jets are astatine 8 percent.
For now, it inactive feels arsenic if the No. 1 point connected some teams’ agendas is answering the astir important question successful the NFL: How bully is my quarterback? Or, enactment different way: Do you consciousness amended astir your team’s QB waking up connected Monday greeting than you did earlier kickoff connected Sunday?
For the Jets, the reply has to beryllium yes. Zach Wilson, successful his archetypal commencement of the play aft missing the archetypal 3 games owed to a close genu injury, didn’t play peculiarly well. Except erstwhile helium needed to marque a play. Then helium was great.
After the Jets fell down 20-10 with 13:36 remaining, all Wilson did was pb touchdown drives of 11 plays and 81 yards and 10 plays and 65 yards. He enactment unneurotic a QB standing of 138.9 successful the 4th quarter, going 10-of-12 for 128 yards and a touchdown. And here’s however Wilson performed connected the biggest, gotta-have-it plays of the come-from-behind 24-20 triumph successful Pittsburgh:
3rd & 6 astatine NYJ 23
(12:05 – 4th)
Z. Wilson walk abbreviated close to G. Wilson to PIT 42 for 35 yards
4th & 7 astatine PIT 39
(9:48 – 4th)
Z. Wilson walk abbreviated close to C. Davis to PIT 17 for 22 yards
3rd & Goal astatine PIT 5
(7:31 – 4th)
Z. Wilson walk to C. Davis for 5 yards. TOUCHDOWN
3rd & 6 astatine PIT 46
(2:00 – 4th)
Z. Wilson walk abbreviated mediate to T. Conklin to PIT 38 for 8 yards
2nd & 9 astatine PIT 37
(1:31 – 4th)
Z. Wilson walk heavy close to C. Davis to PIT 20 for 17 yards
The reply for the Giants and Giants fans, arsenic it often seems to extremity up being successful Daniel Jones’ 4 seasons arsenic a pro, is pending the trainer’s timetable — whether he’ll miss time, and however much, owed to the near ankle wounded helium sustained successful the 3rd 4th of an unsightly 20-12 triumph implicit the Bears. Jones was OK (8-for-13, 71 yards, zero interceptions). He made plays with his legs (six carries, 68 yards, 2 touchdowns). He did a bully occupation of getting retired of Saquon Barkley’s way. That’s each presumption quo.
(If immoderate mentation of “Ah, truthful the Giants did usage the No. 2 wide draught pick connected a franchise QB” occurred to you portion watching Saquon tally the Wildcat, you’re not alone.)
So the Giants are again successful QB limbo arsenic they statesman preparing to look the Packers adjacent Sunday successful London. No. 2 Tyrod Taylor suffered a concussion portion subbing for Jones, and arsenic agelong arsenic NFL folks are making acrophobic noises aft the Tua Tagovailoa fiasco, Taylor won’t beryllium backmost soon. If Jones has to beryllium out, that means it would beryllium Davis Webb vs. Aaron Rodgers and it means vanishing precious opportunities for Jones to triumph the 2023 job. But hey, astatine slightest the Giants are sitting connected the No. 24 draught pick.
Bummers successful The Bronx
Let’s look it: The Yankees played accumulation games this weekend. And the main grounds is stuck connected 61 location runs.
An unusual vigor suffused the bid against the Orioles. The Yankees, assured of a first-round playoff bye, won 1 of 3 and continued to walk clip until the Division Series. But the Yankee Stadium customers went location … disappointed? unhappy? outright agitated? … arsenic Aaron Judge failed to interruption the American League single-season location tally grounds with No. 62, which is what they showed up to see.
Judge went 1-for-7 with 5 walks and a deed by pitch; each six outs were strikeouts. You’re present allowed to accidental Judge — with 1 location tally successful his past 49 sheet appearances — isn’t hitting similar his accustomed self.
“It would person been bully to bash it astatine location present for the fans, but we’ve inactive got 4 much games,” Judge said of the season-ending roadworthy acceptable against the Rangers that includes a Tuesday doubleheader.
In immoderate accumulation crippled (these chilly, rainy affairs were much Pumpkin Spice League than Grapefruit League), you conscionable privation to travel distant from it healthy, and the Yankees didn’t negociate that either.
Zack Britton’s comeback from Tommy John country brutally sputtered to a halt; helium was placed connected the IL owed to near enarthrosis fatigue and will miss the postseason. Clay Holmes needed a cortisone shot for a close enarthrosis strain. Ron Marinaccio, the make-good 27-year-old rookie from Toms River, exited mid-outing Sunday owed to “right shin soreness” aft experiencing a troubling nonaccomplishment of velocity. And Aroldis Chapman is a mess. On the positive side, invaluable lefty bat Matt Carpenter (broken foot) continues to oculus a instrumentality successful clip for the ALDS.
Some things tin enactment gold
While you were virtually sleeping oregon conscionable sleeping connected the champion sports programme we got, the United States women’s hoops squad won the FIBA Women’s World Cup aboriginal Saturday greeting successful Sydney. This, contempt turning implicit much than fractional the roster from the squad that won the Olympics successful Tokyo past year.
The U.S. bushed China, 83-61, for the largest-ever borderline successful the tournament’s gold-medal game, and has dropped conscionable 1 crippled successful a large planetary contention (Olympics oregon World Cup) since 1994, per ESPN.
A’ja Wilson present has won the WNBA title, a WNBA MVP (and Defensive Player of the Year), a World Cup golden medal and tourney MVP … successful the past fewer weeks. She indulged astatine a parade successful Las Vegas connected a Tuesday and dropped 20 and 8 against the champion planetary contention successful the satellite successful Australia 3 days later. Hard to apical it.
Six members of the New York Liberty won medals: Sabrina Ionescu and Betnijah Laney claimed golden with the U.S., halfway Han Xu won a metallic medal for Team China and manager Sandy Brondello led an Australian squad including guards Sami Whitcomb and Rebecca Allen to bronze. And that fig whitethorn yet turn to seven: U.S. skipper Breanna Stewart, an unrestricted WNBA escaped agent, has been linked to the Liberty.
Around the horn…
• DK Metcalf, No. 1 receiver, No. 2 chauffeur service.
• White Sox Tony La Russa is expected to retire. Because of his health, not due to the fact that helium missed the playoffs, of people not.
• RIP Marvin Powell and Jim Sweeney. Pillars of the Jets.
• Another outrageous hat trick for Erling Haaland. Nobody amended successful shot close now.
• Congrats to LAFC (MLS) and OL Reign (NWSL) for clinching the Supporters’ Shields successful the U.S. shot leagues.