METS 5, PHILLIES 3 Mir­a­cle? Mets clinch top wild card

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - BASEBALL -

PHILADEL­PHIA — Af­ter all the dis­heart­en­ing in­juries and frus­trat­ing skids, the Mets are back in the play­offs.

They clinched a post­sea­son spot Satur­day, beat­ing the Phillies 5-3 to se­cure the top NL wild card. The de­fend­ing NL cham­pi­ons will host the Giants or the Car­di­nals on Wed­nes­day night.

“We never gave up,” said third base­man Jose Reyes. “We never doubted the tal­ent we had in here.”

The only other time the Mets made the post­sea­son in con­sec­u­tive years was 1999-2000.

This sea­son has pre­sented all sorts of new chal­lenges. The banged-up Mets (87-74) over­came in­juries that de­pleted their lineup and dec­i­mated a ter­rific young ro­ta­tion, with Matt Har­vey, Ja­cob deGrom and Steven Matz all side­lined by sea­so­nend­ing ail­ments.

Two games un­der .500 on Aug. 19, the Mets have gone a ma­jor­league-best 27-12 over the last six weeks to vault over four teams in the wild-card race.

“This year was much tougher,” win­ning pitcher Bar­tolo Colon said through a trans­la­tor. “We had a lot of peo­ple in­jured, and it was hard to get here.”

James Loney hit a two-run homer to back Colon (15-8), and Jeurys Fa­milia earned his MLBhigh 51st save. T.J. Rivera, As­drubal Cabr­era and Reyes had RBI sin­gles.

By clinch­ing with one day to spare, the Mets can save All-Star Noah Syn­der­gaard for the wild­card game. He could get a brief tuneup Sun­day against the Phillies but should be fresh for Wed­nes­day.

“When you’re in, you’re ca­pa­ble of any­thing,” man­ager Terry Collins said. “We’ve got our ace go­ing Wed­nes­day. If he can spin one up and you get a cou­ple breaks, you never know.” BAL­TI­MORE Jones cf Kim lf Reimold lf c-Al­varez ph Machado 3b Trumbo dh Wi­eters c Davis 1b Schoop 2b Bourn rf Hardy ss TO­TALS NEW YORK Gard­ner lf Hicks cf-rf Cas­tro 2b But­ler dh a-McCn dh-c Teix­eira 1b 1-Ref­s­ny­der rf b-Ells­bury cf Headley 3b Romine c Be­tances p Austin rf-1b Tor­reyes ss TO­TALS 34 34 3 7 9 12 3 7 .267 .304 .222 .249 .294 .256 .241 .221 .265 .310 .271 .260 .220 .270 .357 .240 .206 .250 .261 .251 .242

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