The Mets are in the playoffs because to their unshakeable faith. Can they now hold off the Braves?

The Mets are in the playoffs because to their unshakeable faith. Can they now hold off the Braves?

Since the start of the 2022 season, the New York Mets have faced unanswered questions.

Following Jacob deGrom's shoulder injury in the final week of spring training, the original question was "who will be the opening day starter?"

But, for the first time in six years, every question thrown at the Mets was met with an answer that was tinged with hope and optimism. The excitement for a good season began with Tylor Megill's outstanding first start of the season against the Nationals on April 7, and it lasted all the way to the season's finale, despite injuries to Max Scherzer, Starling Marte, and Trevor May, among others.

This season's Mets squad altered the course of history. The Mets earned their first playoff spot since 2016 with a 7-2 victory over the Brewers on Monday night at American Family Field in Milwaukee.

The Mets are in the playoffs because to their unshakeable faith. Can they now hold off the Braves?
The New York Mets celebrate after defeating the Milwaukee Brewers 7-2 to secure a postseason spot. MARK HOFFMAN/MILWAUKEE EVENING STAR

Under Buck Showalter, the Mets discovered a level of belief that led them to this point. Whether it was a large deficit or a major injury, the Mets always found a way to win.

Early on, the Mets shown that they would not go down without a fight in any game. It started with a two-out, five-run rally on the road against the Cardinals and ended with a stunning six-run, ninth-inning comeback against the Phillies on May 5.

The Mets won their first seven series and didn't lose any of their first ten. The Mets created a 10.5-game lead in the National League East with a six-game winning run between late May and early June.

Something looked different since the summer, when Steve Cohen opened his pocketbook and new general manager Billy Eppler went out and signed Scherzer, Marte, Mark Canha, Eduardo Escobar, and Chris Bassitt.

However, there is a distinction to be made between a high-quality lineup on paper and the product on the field.

Grit has been present.

Despite being hit up and in and suffering a shattered tooth in the first series, and subsequently breaking his middle finger after jamming it in a hotel door before the first game of a series with the Dodgers in early June, Francisco Lindor has played in all but one game this season.

Lindor has recovered to offer the sort of season that Mets supporters hoped for when he signed a three-year, $341 million contract extension before the 2021 season. He has 24 home runs, 95 RBI, and 89 runs scored in his career. And, despite a rough rookie season in New York, Lindor has won over fans along the road.

There has been power, with Pete Alonso continuing to develop his great Mets legacy with 36 home runs and 118 RBI, which leads the National League.

And there have been hidden heroes, whether it was Edwin Diaz's brilliance, All-Star Jeff McNeil's comeback year, Luis Guillorme's outstanding glove talents, David Peterson's boost, or Trevor Williams' chameleon position as a starter or reliever.

The Mets have demonstrated that they belong among Major League Baseball's heavyweights. They won a season series against the Dodgers, swept the Yankees in a two-game home series, and dominated the National League East.

As a result, the Mets have earned a spot in the postseason.

There is just one more goal for the Mets to accomplish during the regular season, and that is to hold off the Braves for the NL East title. It would be the Mets' first division championship since winning the World Series in 2015.

Despite being dynamic and powerful throughout the season, the Mets have been unable to break free from the reigning World Series winners. The Braves won 15 of their 17 games in August and began September on an eight-game winning run, giving them their first division lead.

The Braves have had their own breakout achievements in 2022, whether it was youngster Spencer Strider's fireballing greatness, Austin Riley's emerging fame, or Dansby Swanson and newcomer Matt Olson's consistent contributions.

The Mets have recovered to grab a one-game lead in the division. The decision on who will win the NL East will almost certainly come down to the last week, when the two clubs meet for a three-game series at Truist Park in Atlanta.

Buck Showalter appears to have set up the rotation to have Bassitt, deGrom, and Scherzer on the mound for the most important series of the season.

All season, the Mets have displayed a flair for the dramatic. One final celebration before the regular season ends would most likely be the most theatrical in MLB.

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