It’s mid-September yet again, and it looks like we see the Mets and the Brewers in familiar September form… losing important games that is. The media has been playing up another collapse like the Mets had last year in which they lost a 7 game lead with 17 games to play. The Brewers are blowing a once large wild card lead, like they blew their 8.5 game lead over the Cubs last year in the division race (this lead shrank over 3 months however). The way the Mets and Brewers played yesterday was terrible. The Mets were shutout by the dreadful Washington Nationals in a game in which the Mike Pelfrey and the bullpen combined to give up 1 run. The Brewers lost a game they couldn’t afford to lose, namely because CC (remember NO periods) Sabathia was pitching. To make matters worse for both teams, the Phillies won last night, giving them a .5 game division lead over the Mets, and putting them 1 game ahead of the Brewers in the overall standings (important if the Mets win the NL East and the Brewers fight with the Phils for the wild card).
Currently, the Brewers are in the worse boat of the 2. GM Doug Melvin just fired manager Ned Yost, presumably for being too intense, in turn making the players tight as well. Firing a manager and continuing a free fall in the wild card race will only put more pressure on the Brewers to succeed. They couldn’t even get a win out of their ace last night against the Cubs. The Brewers appear to be getting tighter and tighter by the day, and it appears they may completely fall off in the wild card race. They are currently 1/2 a game back in the wild card race behind the Mets. The Brewers have all the tools to be a contender this year and they are blowing it down the stretch. The players know this is their only year with CC, and the window of opportunity is closing quickly.
The Mets on the other hand are in a little bit better of a spot. They’re half a game up in the wild card standing and only half a game back of the Phillies in the NL East. The Mets problem is they’ve been bitten by the injury bug with Billy Wagner, and have just lost one of their clutch and most reliable players in Fernando Tatis. The Mets only had a 3.5 game lead this year, and this collapse could not possibly match the collapse of last season no matter what happens. The Mets, simply put, are not a particularly good team. They have bullpen deficiencies (Wagner wasn’t perfect, and no one else in the bullpen can get 3 consecutive outs), no clutch hitting, inconsistent starting pitching, and cannot score in the late innings of games. Luckily for the Mets, they play in the NL East, not the AL East where they would have been slaughtered by the tougher competition and probably came in last place. The Mets have a good shot at the playoffs despite all their problems.
My prediction is the Mets get the wild card and the Phillies get the division.