For the New York Mets, sealing a playoff spot was worth celebrating. Even when they have more ambitious goals in the midst of a fierce battle for the league title.
Max Scherzer was pulled from his 200th career victory with a perfect game intact, and the Mets reached their first postseason appearance in six years with a 7-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday.
Scherzer (10-4) was activated for the game from the disabled list and struck out nine in six innings. The 38-year-old ace threw just 68 pitches, but that was all the NL East-leading team allowed him in his first start in 16 days.
Brewers star Christian Yelich doubled to lead off the seventh off Tylor Megill in his first relief game in 27 starts. Megill also came off the disabled list on Monday.
Pete Alonso hit a three-inning homer off reigning NL Cy Young Corbin Burnes (10-8) and the Mets won their fifth straight game to clinch at least one of the wild-card spots. department. They lead the NL East by one game over the defending champion Atlanta Braves, who beat Washington 5-2 at home.
“This is what we play for. You play to be in the postseason,” Scherzer said. “There is a lot ahead of us and we know it well. But you also have to know how to celebrate the good times”.
Mets players and coaches hugged on the field after the final game and enjoyed champagne in the clubhouse. But it was a measured celebration.
“This is just the first step. I have high expectations,” Mets manager Steve Cohen said when addressing the team. “If we can win the league it would be fantastic. Of course, Atlanta is a great team and it will definitely be defined until the very end and we will see what happens in the playoffs. I think this is a team that can go very far.”
It’s the 10th playoff appearance in the franchise’s 61-year history and the first since the Mets lost to San Francisco in the 2016 NL playoffs.
“We know it’s not the end goal, but it’s part of our destiny,” shortstop Francisco Lindor said.
For the Mets, Puerto Rican Lindor 5-2 with two runs scored and one RBI; and Tomás Nido 4-1, RBI. Venezuelan Eduardo Escobar 3-2.
For the Brewers, Dominican Willy Adames.