Ixnay on the Mets playing doormat in the NL Wild Card standings

New York Mets v Arizona Diamondbacks
New York Mets v Arizona Diamondbacks / Norm Hall/GettyImages

Where have these New York Mets been all year? A trip to play the first-place Arizona Diamondbacks in July felt like it would be the final stages of a difficult first-half. Instead, the Mets swept them away and did so in tremendous fashion Thursday night behind 8 shutout innings from Carlos Carrasco and 9 runs from the offense. 

The 9-0 victory came a night after winning 2-1 in a much more dramatic fashion. Instead of another drama, the Mets went with a slapstick comedy in the finale where it was the Diamondbacks, not them, getting poked in the eyes and becoming the victims of some Frank Drebin buffoonery.

The Mets have a long way to go but at least they’re not lying down in the NL Wild Card race

Now 6.5 games out of a National League Wild Card spot, they are ironically tied with the San Diego Padres with a 41-46 record. The two teams square off this weekend with just two clubs separating them from a playoff berth.

The San Francisco Giants, who we learned last weekend the Mets can handle, rest 0.5 games behind the suddenly resurgent Philadelphia Phillies who swept away the Tampa Bay Rays down in Florida. Right behind them are the Milwaukee Brewers who rest one game behind Philadelphia. It might seem daunting, but consider the other NL teams currently in a playoff spot.

The Diamondbacks lead the NL West. If their three losses against the Mets was any indication of what’s to come for them, a swoon could be headed their way. The overachieving Cincinnati Reds lead the Brewers in the AL Central. Again, they should get cold, too.

Even the Miami Marlins who’ve been one of the better teams in the NL all year seem due to slump for a prolonged period of time. By refusing to play doormat, the Mets have at least provided us with some hope of relevant baseball for several more weeks.

The timing of this hot stretch that now includes 5 straight wins but only 6 in their last 10 should have the front office thinking twice about any kind of sell-off. As we’ve written a few places on Rising Apple, the idea of the Mets buying at the trade deadline exists. Your wishlist of prospects to target should be put on hold for now.

There are 18 games left before the August 1 trade deadline arrives. How much closer can the Mets get?