MLB Postseason: The Thoughts of a Mets Fan


Matt Coates

Matt Coates, Reporter

As the weather changes, the Major League Baseball season advances to postseason play. Unfortunately, I am a Mets fan.

The Philadelphia Phillies season is moving along quite well as I write this article. After finishing 87-75 and third in the NL East, they were able to clinch a spot in the postseason. The team teetered on the edge of postseason contention for a large part of the season and got in a fight with the Milwaukee Brewers to secure the last seed in the postseason.

As the No. 6 seed in the National League, the Phillies stormed into St. Louis for a quick sweep of the No. 3 seeded and NL Central champion St. Louis Cardinals. “Red October” continues for the Phillies; as I write this, they are currently tied 1-1 in a series with the juggernaut Atlanta Braves.

The Phillies have exemplified the idea that anything can happen in the playoffs. After starting the season 22-29 with a plus-one run differential, they were written off by many. However, the team did not give up. Manager Joe Girardi was fired and Rob Thomson was promoted to interim manager. After which, the team finished the regular season 65-46, putting them on pace for 95 wins in a full season.

After failing to meet expectations early in the year, the Phillies have had an incredibly successful season. They fought hard to earn themselves a postseason spot and have demonstrated how powerful their roster is. One of their big acquisitions of the offseason, Nick Castellanos, struggled during the regular season. However, he brought his bat and went 3-5 with three RBIs in the first game against the Braves. The Phillies are playing their best baseball at this point in the season, making them extremely dangerous in the playoffs.

Unfortunately, the other Pennsylvania team did not have the same success. The Pittsburgh Pirates finished 62-100, tied with the Cincinnati Reds for the third worst record in baseball. Luckily, the pitiful Reds are in the same division as the Pirates, so they were tied for last place in the NL Central.

The highlight of the Pirates’ season was the call up of young phenom Oneil Cruz who was the 22nd overall prospect at the time, according to the MLB pipeline. What makes Cruz special is his physical stature and innate ability. At 6’7”, he towers over much of the MLB. Just 54 games into his career, Cruz hit a single off the wall in right field at 122.4 mph, and threw an out to first at 97.8 mph. Both were MLB records during the Statcast era.

Outside of Cruz, the Pirates have work to do. They have the seventh best farm system in baseball, which will be a huge proponent of future success. Until those young prospects graduate to the majors, things don’t look great for the Pirates. They are not traditionally big spenders, and I don’t expect them to make a big push in free agency this off-season.

The New York Yankees are another team with happy fans at this point in the season. With a 99-63 record through the regular season, there were more ups than downs. While it may not have been the easiest route to the postseason, the Yankees were in a good spot all year. They started the year with a 56-21 record through June and were the consensus best team in baseball for those first three months, showing no signs of slowing down. However, summer did not treat them well.

They went 13-13 in the month of July, only to have a worse record in August, going 10-18. Luckily, the slide wasn’t the end of the world. On July 1, they were the best team in the American League with a 6.5 game lead on the Houston Astros. Even after their rough summer, they only fell to second in the American League, trailing the Astros by five games on Sept. 1.

The Yankees were a great team fueled by a monster year from Aaron Judge. After turning down a massive contract before the season started, Judge has earned himself an historic payday. The home run king blasted 62 home runs this season, breaking the American League record previously set by Roger Maris, who launched 61 homers in 1961. While Judge had an incredible season leading the MLB in home runs and RBIs, the success didn’t stop there. He was fifth in the majors in batting average, second in walks, and first in OPS.

The Yankees have set expectations high throughout the entire regular season and hope to continue doing so in the playoffs. For a franchise with 27 World championships, this season will mean nothing without another ring. After avoiding the wild card, the Yankees started the postseason hot with a 4-1 win over the Cleveland Guardians.

Finally, I will talk about my New York Mets whose collapse can only be compared to that of the Roman Empire. After reaching such terrific heights, the Mets’ season was over before we knew it. They had the best regular season of anyone mentioned in the article, finishing 101-61. However, the season seemed to end before the playoffs began. The Mets were engaged in a hard fight for the NL East with the Atlanta Braves for the entirety of the regular season. They held onto the lead for virtually the whole year, until the two teams met for a three-game set at the end of September.

Essentially, the Mets had to win just one game to survive and capture the division. Instead, they got swept, gave the Braves a two-game lead in the division and the head-to-head tiebreaker. Because of this, the Mets were forced into the four seed in the playoffs and faced off against the San Diego Padres in the wild card round. The Padres won that series in three games, putting the final stamp on the Mets’ tumultuous downfall.

While the season ending hurts all Mets fans, it’s hard to say we couldn’t see it coming. The team went 15-11 in the month of September, while having a top five easiest strength of schedule at that point. The post-season is all about playing your best baseball when it matters most, and the Mets fell flat.

Even though there is so much to gripe about with the Mets’ season, they still did some tremendous things. Pete Alonso was second in the NL with 40 homers and tied with Aaron Judge for the league lead in RBIs. Star shortstop Francisco Lindor proved he could play in New York by having a bounce back year, batting .270 with 26 homers and 107 RBIs. He was also seventh in the MLB in fWAR and missed one game the entire season. Second baseman Jeff McNeil was an all-star starter and led the entire MLB in batting average.

There’s always next year …