Flushing, NY: Assume that the Mets sweep a three-game series over the Pittsburgh Pirates Sunday afternoon at Citi Field, and with the July 31 trade deadline days away, what do they do?
And with the Mets winning their third straight, four of the last five, after a 3-0 win over the Pirates Saturday night, do they stay put with Noah Syndergaard, Edwin Diaz, Zack Wheeler, and Sunday’s starter Jason Vargas?
First hand consensus is a team in the hunt for the postseason is not giving away pitching for prospects. Right now, after this win, the Mets are six games off from a second wild card in the National League.
And passing six other teams for a spot is not impossible with 58 games remaining . difficult but the schedule is in the favor of the Mets.
After their finale with the Pirates Sunday, the next six games are at the Chicago White Sox and at Pittsburgh. Both the White Sox and Pirates have below .500 records and of course teams the Mets would have to beat.
But the way this team has seemed to turn it around, winning four of their last five post All-Star break series, there is more optimism. They are pitching, second in team ERA to the Cleveland Indians since the break and playing clean baseball.
Saturday night, Steven Matz was the latest starter to turn it around throwing his first complete game shutout, 5 hits and seven strikeouts, in the Mets 3-0 win.
The bullpen was not needed. Edwin Diaz would have been ready to go in the 9th, but Matz was economical and finished with 99 pitches.
“We are the team we want to be and not worried what has happened,” manager Mickey Callaway said.
That first half had adversity and his job has been in question. Of course winning and playing good baseball will change things rapidly. Now, instead of talking about his job security the Mets may be looking to make a run,.
But should they part with Syndergaard, or Vargas as the trade deadline nears? And those questions will continue to be asked when Vargas takes his turn on the mound Sunday afternoon. Like Syndergaard and Wheeler, Jason Vargas could be making his last start as a Met at Citi Field.
Word around the ballpark is Vargas will definitely be the highlight of a trade. He is in a walk-off year, but the left-hander has been more effective with his changeup and fastball leading many to think perhaps Sunday afternoon won’t be his last as a Met.
In the Mets clubhouse there has been constant talk. Media have been asking the players about being the possible targets of a trade or two.
They respond and it can be determined that the focus is more on winning ballgames. They say this is normal in the final weeks of July and that baseball is a business.
“I hear but I don’t listen to it,” Diaz said through an interpreter. “All I want to do is help this team win,” he said about the trade rumors.
In the meantime, the Mets are 7-games under .500 and you get the feel they will make a run for it and not make any significant trades.
Winning does change the complexion of things.
NOTES: Matz is the third Mets pitcher to throw a shutout this season joining Syndergaard…. J.D. Davis doubled in the fifth to break up Trevor Williams’ no-hit bid. and hit his 10th home run of the year in the seventh inning…
Pirates lost their seventh straight and fell to 2-13 since the All-Star break, their longest losing streak since seven straight games from June 7-13th…
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