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Mets Are Bloodied, But Still in Pretend Playoffs

MIAMI, FL - MAY 13: Giancarlo Stanton #27 of the Miami Marlins celebrates at home plate after hitting a walk off grand slam during a game against the New York Mets at Marlins Park on May 13, 2012 in Miami, Florida. The Marlins defeated the Mets 8-4. (Photo by Sarah Glenn/Getty Images) God, we'll never get used to those jerseys.

We have vowed, every Monday in which such a post would be applicable, to devote a Monday post to the Mets as long as they're still in the If the Season Ended Today Playoffs. And look — for the fifth straight week, they still are! Though if you're a Mets fan, you probably still haven't stopped grumbling about yesterday's game.

Heading into the bottom of the ninth inning of yesterday's rubber game with the Marlins, the Mets held a 4-2, just three outs away from an absolutely terrific week, a sweep of Philadelphia, and two-out-of-three from Miami. (That's some tasty road division winnin'.) Closer Frank Francisco, who has surprisingly been rather terrible for the Mets this year, gave up a leadoff triple to Emilio Bonifacio, walked John Buck, and watched a single by Greg Dobbs bring Miami within one. Manager Terry Collins had had enough by that point, but Francisco apparently had, too, arguing with the home plate umpire enough to get himself ejected. Manny Acosta came in and actually settled matters down, getting José Reyes to hit a sac fly to tie the game and forcing Omar Infante to pop out.

Then all heck broke loose again. Hanley Ramirez walked, and Austin Kearns was plunked. Then Giancarlo Staton, with his awesome pink bat, stepped in. This, perhaps inevitably, happened. (He even hit that ugly-arse sculpture.)

So, what could have been a splendid 5-1 week is merely an excellent 4-2 one. And now the Mets have a full-blown Closer Controversy, but don't worry: Collins has narrowed the field to eight options. One of those options probably isn't R.A. Dickey on his off days, but that would be neat anyway.

But let's not bog ourselves down with bad news. Let's stick with the good. First, The Wall Street Journal reported this morning that the Mets are already working on an extension for David Wright, who is currently hitting .400. Oh, and: The Mets are still in the fake playoffs!

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

American League
Tampa Bay Rays/New York Yankees (Wild Card coin-flip winner) versus Texas Rangers
Cleveland Indians versus Baltimore Orioles

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

This week, the Mets have a full schedule. They play NL Central combatants Milwaukee and Cincinnati two games each at Citi Field and then ... whoa, interleague play starts early this year. The Mets travel to Toronto this weekend to face the scary Blue Jays and sit through an extra song before the game starts. (Next year, it'll start even earlier: on opening day.) That's seven tough games, but after this week, despite the loss yesterday, the Mets have to be pleased. Let's see if we're doing this post again next week!

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Photo: Sarah Glenn/Getty Images