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Mattingly says he knew Mets would eventually be a playoff team

The Mets (89-69) currently lead the Dodgers (88-70) by one game in the race for home field advantage during the NL Division Series, which begins October 9.

In an interview with ESPN, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he expected the Mets to make the playoffs, even in early July, when the Mets were .500 and trailing the Nationals in the NL East.

“We played those guys it seems right after the break and we’ve got some friends over there who are coaching, and I said right then, ‘You guys are gonna make the playoffs,'” Mattingly said. “You could see it coming. That pitching is so good and the additions they made around the trading deadline and right before, big moves and they all seem to work out, and a club that’s on a roll. A club with momentum and confidence, that kind of pitching is a very dangerous club.”

The Mets are 5-5 in their last 10 games, 12-8 during their last 20, while the Dodgers are 3-7 and 8-12.


Game 159: Mets at Phillies, 12:05 p.m.

The Mets (89-69) wrap up their three-game series against the Phillies (61-97) on Thursday in Philadelphia at 12:05 p.m. ET on SNY.

LHP Sean Gilmartin (3-1, 2.58 ERA) gets the start for the Mets. He’ll be opposed by RHP Jerad Eickhoff (2-3, 3.07 ERA) for Philadelphia.

Mets Phillies
1. Kelly Johnson 2B 1. Freddy Galvis 2B
2. Ruben Tejada SS 2. Odubel Herrera CF
3. Michael Conforto LF 3. Aaron Altherr LF
4. Michael Cuddyer 1B 4. Jeff Francoeur RF
5. Kirk Nieuwenhuis RF 5. Darin Ruf 1B
6. Eric Campbell 3B 6. Cody Asche 3B
7. Kevin Plawecki C 7. Carlos Ruiz C
8. Juan Lagares CF 8. Chase d’Arnaud SS
9. Sean Gilmartin LHP 9. Jerad Eickhoff RHP

Gilmartin Notes: Is making his first major league start. Gilmartin pitched a career-high 3 1/3 scoreless innings against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on August 24. Has thrown 5 2/3 scoreless innings since September 16 and has struck out 18 batters in his last 12 games (15 2/3 innings).

Eickhoff Notes: Allowed two runs while striking out 10 in seven innings during his start this past Friday against Washington. Has posted a 1.29 ERA over his last three starts. Faced the Mets on August 26 and August 31, allowing six runs in 13 combined innings.


Phillies Notes: Have won four of five games, scoring 31 runs in the process. The Phillies are trying to avoid their first 100-loss season since 1961.

Mets Notes: The last time the Mets were swept in a three-game series by the Phillies was April of 2013 at Citi Field. The Mets have a 19-4 record on the road since August 21. They have gone 14-4 against the Phillies so far this season — the most wins they’ve ever had against them in a single season. Have scored three or more runs in each of their last 33 road games, which is the longest streak in the National League since 1900. Michael Conforto is tied for the rookie NL lead with six outfield assists.

Sep 1, 2015; New York City, NY, USA;  New York Mets starting pitcher Jonathon Niese (49) delivers a pitch against the Philadelphia Phillies in the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Niese pitches consecutive days as reliever

Mets LHP Jon Niese allowed an inherited run to score, while pitching back-to-back days as a reliever, during Wednesday’s 7-5 loss to the Phillies.

Niese entered the game in the fifth inning with runners on first and second base and allowed a two-out RBI single to Cody Asche to make it a 5-3 game. He got the next batter, Darnell Sweeney, to ground out to third with runners on the corners to end the inning.

Terry Collins said on Thursday that he liked that Niese was able to get ready in a hurry on Wednesday and that he and Niese talked after the game about things Niese needed to work on. Niese will get in a game this weekend, Collins added.

In Niese’s first relief appearance on Tuesday, he allowed one run and three hits in 1 2/3 innings.

Niese will not be part of the team’s starting rotation during the NL Division Series. Instead, Terry Collins said this past weekend that he intended to use Niese in relief this week in preparation for a possible bullpen role on the postseason roster.


Mets might flip roles of Clippard and Reed

Tyler Clippard and Addison Reed might switch roles, with Clippard pitching the seventh inning and Reed pitching the eighth, Terry Collins said (Oct. 1).

According to Collins, when Clippard and Reed pitch could depend on where the opposing lineup is during each game.

Clippard, who was acquired from the Athletics in July, posted a 6.59 ERA while giving up four home runs in 13 2/3 innings (13 appearances) in September.

Since joining the Mets, Clippard has a 3.16 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in 31 1/3 innings (31 appearances).

Reed, who was acquired from the Diamondbacks in August, has yet to allow a run in 14 innings (15 appearances) with the Mets while striking out 15.

Sep 11, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz (32) throws a pitch against the Atlanta Braves in the first inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Matz will likely pitch on Saturday or Sunday

Mets LHP Steven Matz was scratched from starts on Wednesday and Thursday with body stiffness on his right side, putting in to question whether he will be part of the team’s playoff roster.

Matz was feeling much better on Thursday and was set to throw a baseball. He should get into a game either Saturday or Sunday, Terry Collins said (Oct. 1).

According to Collins, Matz could pitch as many as five or six innings in relief on Saturday or Sunday. The Mets had said previously that Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom (scheduled to pitch Saturday and Sunday, respectively) would have pitch limits of roughly 60 during their final starts of the regular season.

Matz hasn’t pitched since Sept. 24, when he allowed three runs and 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings.

“I’m not very concerned,” he told reporters Thursday. “It’s going to go away. It’s just a matter of when.”

If Matz makes the playoff roster, it would be as a starter. Collins has said in the past it wound’t be fair to move Matz to the bullpen with limited experience as a relief pitcher (Aug. 30, 2015). However, if the Mets take him to the NLDS, determine he is unfit to pitch and replace him on the roster, he would also have to miss the NLCS, according to league rules.

“The one thing you don’t want to do is activate him in the first series and have the back flare up,” Collins explained. “It becomes a situation where we have to determine if he is gonna fit or not.”

CerroneCircleAvatarMatthew Cerrone,
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I keep hearing from people close to the team that, had today been a playoff game, they’d have jacked Matz up with medication and therapies and that he’d be on the mound. But, with literally two weeks before he’s needed in the NLDS, why push him against the Phillies? The issue, though, is will they know enough about his health by Oct. 8, when the Mets are required to set their roster for the NLDS? This is why I don’t understand why they’d throw him this weekend. Why take the chance he worsens his condition? Instead, I’d rather see them let him continue to rest and work him out the middle of next week, because they still have time before needing to make a final decision.

It’s worth noting that, if they go with Bartolo Colon instead of Matz as the Game 4 starting pitcher, and they leave Matz off the roster, it lets the Mets carry an extra relief pitcher. I don’t know where they stand on Sean Gilmartin or Logan Verrett, but both would have value on a Matz-less roster, because they’ll need a new long-man with Colon in the rotation. I suppose Jon Niese could work that role as well, but that would eliminate him from being always available as a left-handed reliever.


Uribe to see doctor in New York

Juan Uribe will see a doctor in New York as his chest injury is showing “little” improvement, Terry Collins said on Thursday.

Uribe’s status for the NLDS is up in the air after he left the game on Friday after reaggravating the injury first suffered on Sept. 20.

There is a chance he could remain unavailable through the postseason (Sept. 26, 2015).

The team initially said Uribe had a bruise on his chest. However, according to Collins, there is now a cartilage issue causing additional pain.


That was an ugly baseball game

The Mets scored five runs against the Phillies in the first inning on Wednesday night, after which….

They didn’t score a run off seven relievers; Yoenis Cespedes left the game after being hit on the hand (Sept. 30); Wilmer Flores left the game with back stiffness (Sept. 30); Terry Collins used six relievers in the fifth and sixth innings; and Hansel Robles was ejected after throwing at Cameron Rupp (Sept. 30).

“It was an ugly game,” Collins said about the 7-5 loss.

In total, 17 pitchers from both sides combined for 10 walks during the game, which lasted 3 hours, 59 minutes. The teams went 5-for-20 with runners in scoring position and left 15 runners on base.

“When you get off to a 5-0 lead, you expect to win the game,” David Wright added. “Obviously, they made the big plays and got the big hits to win.”

After an eight-game winning streak, the Mets have gone 6-8 with just four games left before the start of the NLDS against the Dodgers on October 9.

“We have to get rekindled here,” Collins said. “We’ll get it going.”

CerroneCircleAvatarMatthew Cerrone,
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I’m not concerned about momentum. It’ll work itself out. I am, however, concerned about the Phillies, who last night looked like a team daring the Mets to mess up their postseason by fighting, beaning people, creating stupid injuries and getting suspended. Aside from this being one of the worst baseball games I have ever watched, it made me incredibly paranoid about today’s series finale. I’m all for a entertaining baseball brawl, but that is literally the last thing the Mets need right now. They’re going to have to check their egos and do everything they can today to resist the urge to retaliate, regardless of how they’re tempted to do otherwise. They can’t afford to get someone injured or suspended when so close to the finish line.

So, please, for the love of Mr. Met, keep it together, guys, you can beat up the Phillies next year as early as April 8, when they’ll be forced to watch you raise the NL East Champions banner during the season’s first game at Citi Field.


In case you missed it on Wednesday, presented by Citi

The Mets blew an early 5-0 lead as they lost to the Phillies, 7-5, on Wednesday night in Philadelphia.

In San Francisco, the Dodgers lost to the Giants, which means the Mets maintained their 0ne-game lead for home field advantage in the NLDS…

Yoenis Cespedes exited Wednesday’s game in the third inning after getting hit in the left hand with a pitch. X-Rays were negative, and Cespedes was diagnosed with a contusion (bruise) on his ring and middle fingers.

Steven Matz was scratched from Thursday’s start due to body stiffness, but will likely pitch this weekend, Terry Collins said. Matz was diagnosed with spasms and was given medication after being examined on Wednesday.

Wilmer Flores left Wednesday’s game in the fourth inning due to back spasms, but hopes to return to the lineup on Friday, he said after the game.

Hansel Robles and Terry Collins were ejected from Wednesday’s game in the sixth inning after a 94 MPH fastball from Robles nearly hit Cameron Rupp in the head. Both benches had been warned beforehand. Robles said after the game that the pitch got away.

LHP Dario Alvarez, who had been out due to a groin injury, rejoined the team prior to Wednesday’s game.

What’s on tap for Thursday, October 1

The Mets wrap up their three-game series against the Phillies on Thursday in Philadelphia at 12:05 p.m. ET on SNY.

Sean Gilmartin (3-1, 2.58 ERA) gets the start for the Mets. He’ll be opposed by Jerad Eickhoff (2-3, 3.07 ERA) for Philadelphia.

For every Mets home run hit at Citi Field® this season, Citi will show their appreciation to an NYC community partner with a $2,000 donation. Visit to see this season’s grand total to date.