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The Mets Are (Barely) Still in the Pretend Playoffs

TORONTO, CANADA - MAY 19: Mike Baxter #23 of the New York Mets reacts after being called out trying to stretch a single into a double in the 9th inning by second base umpire Brian Knight during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays on May 19, 2012 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) (For the record, Baxter WAS safe on this play.)

Can we talk a little bit more about David Wright? We touched on this last week, but Wright is absolutely out of control right now. With two more hits in the Mets' sweep-avoiding 6-5 win over Toronto yesterday afternoon, Wright is now atop the National League leaderboard in all sorts of categories. Let's take a look.

Here's where Wright is in the NL stats leaders:

Batting Average: .412 (first) (Also: .412!)
On-Base Percentage: .513 (first)
Slugging Percentage: .626 (fourth)
On-Base Plus Slugging (OPS): 1.138 (second)
Hits: 54 (fourth)
Walks: 28 (third)
Runs: 29 (first)

Imagine if the guy could hit a homer! (He only has four.) Wright has been so splendid for the Mets this year that the Mets are showing all sorts of confidence that they'll be able to sign him this off-season — or perhaps even before. But he might actually be having too good of a year. As Jayson Stark pointed out over the weekend, Wright would be foolish to sign any sort of extension, considering the Mets' uncertain future and the total dearth of third-base free-agent options even close to his level. The Mets have a $16 million option they'll sure pick up ... but if they don't think they can sign him, Stark writes, they'll have to consider trading him this off-season. So we might have to go through all this junk again next year.

Let's just enjoy his run at .400, because the Mets themselves are starting to wobble. They lost two of three from Toronto over the weekend, and they're down to 22-19 on the season. Now, this would put them in first place in the National League Central, but in the NL East, it puts them in a tie for third. In fact, it's only on a technicality that they are still in the pretend playoffs: They're tied with Miami, but they're 4-2 against the Marlins this year, so we'll put them in. In the actual playoffs, those two teams would have a play-in to the play-in game, which would screw up every schedule MLB has put together this year. For the sake of brevity and clarity, we'll just go ahead and put them in, for now.

Here's how those playoffs would look were there a national tragedy and the season ended today:

American League
Tampa Bay Rays/Toronto Blue Jays (Wild Card coin-flip winner) versus Baltimore Orioles
Cleveland Indians versus Texas Rangers

National League
New York Mets/Washington Nationals (Wild Card coin-flip winner) versus Los Angeles Dodgers
St. Louis Cardinals versus Atlanta Braves

Theoretically speaking, the upcoming week should be a positive one for the Mets. They play seven games against teams with losing records — three at Pittsburgh and four at home against San Diego. We just barely sneaked the Mets into the pretend playoffs this week. Perhaps it will be easier next week.

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Photo: Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images