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The Mets Are Almost Out of the Pretend Playoffs

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 15:  David Wright #5 of the New York Mets reacts after being thrown out at second base on stolen base attempt during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at CitiField on May 15, 2012 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) Wha' happened?

We've been taking considerable joy in pointing out that the Mets have been in the "if the season ended today" playoffs every single day of this season. (The 4-0 start helped.) Alas, if the Mets lose at 1 p.m. today to the Reds, for the first time all year, that will not be the case. They lost a crusher to Cincinnati last night, 6–3, thanks to yet another bullpen breakdown. Johan Santana pitched well again, giving up two runs in 6 2/3 innings, but Jon Rauch led the bullpen implosion, launching the Reds to a four-run eighth inning that wiped out all Johan's good work. Santana has a 2.89 ERA but just one win. The Mets' bullpen ERA is 5.17, worst in the National League and 29th in baseball. Not good. The Mets are now tied with the Marlins and only a half-game up on the Reds for the "final" wild-card spot, in the theoretical national-tragedy-leading-to-the-end-of-the-baseball-season scenario. In a few hours, it'll be R.A. Dickey's turn to be disappointed by his relievers, in the last home game before interleague play starts tomorrow in Toronto.

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Photo: Mike Stobe/Getty Images