Mets avoided eliminating the post-season dispute with a thrilling victory on Tuesday. But even after beating the Miami Marlins 5-4 in 11 rounds, their chances of reaching the playoffs remained almost impossible, as Milwaukee Brewers and Washington Nationals won on Tuesday.
Michael Comfort hit two home runs, including a ninth-round draw kick, and Brandon Nimmo took a grass-roots walk in the 11th, when the Mets scored 82 wins to secure a winning season for the first time since 2016.
But with one more defeat or one win by the Brewers, the Mets will finally be mathematically eliminated from the playoff race. (National won a playoff spot on Tuesday.)
With the Mets' collective goals reduced to a fancy, their individual activities are pretty much all that remains in the last week of the season.
Jacob deGrom is looking for the second National League Cy Young Award. There is also the future of manager Mickey Callaway and the issue of his coming back next season. But perhaps most convincing is Pete Alonso's quest for a rookie home run record.
Alonso didn't get a home run on Tuesday, going from 0 to 5. He still has 50 more players than any previous Mets player. But if he gets three games in the last five games of the year, he will break Aaron Judge's newcomer record.
That, and the start of Jacob deGrom's season on Wednesday, may be all that remains for Mets fans to cheer on.
Alonso noted on Tuesday that more than 19,000 players dressed in Major League Baseball, but none of them managed 53 home runs as a rookie. He said he struggled to find words to express what reaching the record would mean for him, but eventually found some.
"Super, incredibly amazing, amazing," he said.
Unfortunately for Mets, these words do not accurately describe the team's season.
Alonso's quest for history fits into the context of a sad ending – the Mets almost guaranteed failure to reach the postseason. On the other hand, the judge's 52 home runs in 2017, including 15 in the last month of the regular season, took place amid a remarkable race for the Yankees who did not finish until the final in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series.
The judge added four post-season home runs, including three at A.L.C.S. Alonso will almost certainly not have this opportunity.
"Let's say if we don't play the playoffs," he said. "It's unfortunate. But I think there are a lot of positives and I feel it will have some basic elements and strength for next year."
Still, it is a harsh reality that a team with a clear leader for the National League National Novice Award – which should also receive votes for the Most Valuable Player Award – and leader for the NL. The Cy Young Award winner in deGrom is about to be eliminated from the playoff race. The Mets follow the Brewers for five games in the fight for the second NL match. wildcard point.
But Alonso remained as positive as ever as he evaluated the season and preached patience for a team that is showing signs of improvement as it enters the off season.
"I wouldn't say it's bittersweet, because this was just a miraculous year for me," he said. “Everyone in this locker room was amazing. We have an amazing team, a great group of boys and I wouldn't change anything about what happened in the world. "
Alonso has been remarkably consistent throughout the season, hitting nine home runs in his first 29 games, then 10 in May and nine in June. After a moderate drop to six in July, he added eight in August and equaled the total in September, with six games remaining, including Tuesday's contest. He had 24 home runs and 26 on the road.
On Monday, he chose the third round, giving him 335 total bases to break David Wright's 334 record, set in 2008. Alonso's 50 home runs are the most practiced in baseball, and his extra 82 extra hits , also a club record, were tied with Cody Bellinger for most in NL
He has seven players in 17 games against Marlins and five in 16 games against Atlanta Braves, the final opponent of the Mets.
Martin Prado, a Marlins field player and 14-year veteran of the major league, doesn't expect this season to be a fluke considering what he saw of Alonso's consistency and maturity.
"The guy has a very short blow to the ball," Prado said. "But he's a big boy, and every time he hits the ball, he looks different from anyone else. When you have so much power and get right into the ball, it's a tough contact somewhere and you're more likely to succeed. in this game. "
Alonso, of course, still has goals for the future: do fewer outs to increase your base percentage (it was 0.336 out of 155 games) and improve your defensive proficiency and base to become a more complete player.
Callaway said Alonso succeeded Wright, who retired last season as the Mets face, and indicated that he would give Alonso every opportunity to break the judge's record.
"That would mean a ton," Callaway said. "There are a lot of special things that happened this season and Pete is definitely one of those things. What he has done is spectacular. I would love for him to break this record and win an M.V.P."
Alonso emphasized on Tuesday afternoon that the Mets were still focused on trying to secure an unlikely playoff spot. But for a player whose sole goal was to train in the spring was to prove that he was good enough to play in the big tournaments, Alonso went far beyond that.
"This year has been unforgettable for me," he said. "The most fun year I've ever played baseball. It's been extremely special. I'll remember this season for the rest of my life. It was miraculous."
The Mets will retire JERRY KOOSMAN number 36 during a ceremony next year. JEFF WILPON, Mets chief operating officer, made the announcement on Tuesday, 50 years of Mets, winning his first Eastern National League title. Koosman joins TOM SEAVER (41) and MIKE PIAZZA (31) as the only Mets players to have their numbers retired. Wilpon said he expects more pensions in the coming years. He didn't say that, but DAVID WRIGHT's number 5 is an obvious choice. Reliever Paul Sewald won the Mets victory on Tuesday – his first victory in 119 career games. He is 1-14. "It's a meaningless statistic for a rescuer," Sewald said, "but it's good to have at least one."