You may have seen that pessimistic post on Metsblog earlier that stated the Mets should be aiming to go 45 and 20 to win the Wild Card. This is short sighted. I hate to do this, but let’s go back to 2007.
On July 27, 2007 the Mets were up four games over the Phillies and Braves in second place. They kept the hordes at bay for a month, and on August 27 were six games up, seven over the Braves, and neither team looked really good.
Then the Mets played that ill-fated series in Philadelphia where they lost four games, the lead dropping to two games and panic started to set in. The Mets rebounded terrifically winning five in a row and 10 of their next 12.
They hosted the Phillies again on September 12 with a seven-game lead and plenty of reason to think that the series in Philadelphia was merely a fluke.
More so than any other reason, the Mets lost in 2007 because they lost those seven games to the Phillies. In 2009, the Mets and Phillies play eight more times. They blew their first chance at this a couple of weeks ago, allowing the Phillies to sweep them, but 65 games and eight against the leader is not something you write off.If the Mets are good enough to overcome the deficit in the wild card, they’re good enough to overcome the deficit in the division.
The Phillies are bound to come back to earth, as they’re not going to play at this crazy winning percentage for the rest of the season, and now they’ve started to be bit by the injury bug as well. If the Mets can recover and run with it, it’s the division that’s waiting, not the wild card.
If you’re looking for numbers or formulas, here is one for you.
There are 10 weeks left of the season, and eight games against the Phillies. Win six of the games against the Phillies, and then play merely one game better than them in five of the other eight weeks they don’t play Philadelphia. Win one more game, whether it’s another against the Phillies, another random game during the season, or game 163. From there the playoffs are your oyster.