The next nine need to be played to the nines.

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The Mets were able to salvage a game in Detroit yesterday after Neil Walker took Francisco Rodriguez deep in the top of the ninth inning, to give the Mets a much needed 3-1 win after Saturday night’s gut-wrenching defeat. The Mets will now turn the page on Tuesday night and open a six game homestand against the Arizona Diamondbacks and the San Diego Padres. They follow this upcoming homestand with a ten-game road trip that begins on the West Coast. While the Mets will make trips to San Francisco and St. Louis there is a silver lining. That trip also begins with the Mets playing the Arizona Diamondbacks for three games beginning next Monday. If there ever was a time for the Mets to take advantage of their schedule it is now. 

The next nine games will be played against the Diamondbacks and Padres, two of the worst teams in the National League this season. The Diamondbacks have the second worst record in the National League, and the Padres aren’t too far behind. The Mets have been barely keeping their heads above water in the Wild Card race, and there isn’t a better opportunity in their schedule to make up ground as they sit two games out of the final Wild Card spot.

The Mets offense which has been as streaky as the Mets pitching in recent days will face two pitching staffs who are at the bottom of the league. The Diamondbacks are last in the majors with a 5.10 team ERA and the Padres are 25th with a 4.51 ERA. The offense will certainly have an opportunity to build some momentum over these next nine games against two staffs who are clearly underwhelming to say the least. Knowing how home run happy the Mets have been this season, both the Diamondbacks (2nd most) and Padres (4th most) rank atop the NL in home runs allowed this season.

The opportunity is there for the taking, and the Mets are also a wounded bunch there is no question about that. But right now the team is playing for an opportunity for a chance at the big dance, and we know anything can certainly happen in October. Jose Reyes should be back within the next week, and hopefully Yoenis Cespedes will be back in time when the Mets begin a four-game series in San Francisco. If the Mets have a chance of building a winning streak together, (they haven’t won two in a row in over 30 days), their best shot is right now and there is simply no denying that.

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