The New York Mets clinched their first playoff appearance since 2016 with an impressive 7-2 win Monday over the Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Field.
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The Mets rode the right shoulder of Max Scherzer, who returned from the injured list and threw six innings of no-hit ball, striking out nine. Scherzer threw 68 pitches, 47 for strikes.
The Brewers got their first base hit in the seventh inning when left fielder Christian Yelich doubled leading against Tylor Megill.
“This is what you play the game for. You play the game to go to the postseason,” Scherzer said. “We have a lot of things in front of us and we understand that. But, man, you’ve got to celebrate the good times, too.”
The three-time Cy Young Award winner picked up his 200th career win Monday. Scherzer (200-101) joined Justin Verlander (243 wins) and Zack Greinke (223) as the only active pitchers with 200 career wins.
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After Adam Ottavino close it out in the ninth inning, Mets players and coaches hugged and high-fived on the field after the final out, then enjoyed a boozy but subdued celebration in the clubhouse.
“This is just the first step. I have high expectations,” owner Steven Cohen, wearing a Mets cap, said after giving a postgame speech to the team. “If we can win the division, that would be great. Obviously, Atlanta is a great team, and it will probably go down to the wire, and then we’ll see what happens in the playoffs. I think this is a team that can go really far.”
It is the 10th postseason appearance in the franchise’s 61-season history, and first since the Mets lost to the San Francisco Giants in the 2016 NL wild-card game.
“We understand this is not the end goal, but it’s part of our destiny,” shortstop Francisco Lindor said.
Mets players took a group photo and selfies on the field after the game. In the clubhouse, Scherzer held a bottle of Ace of Spades champagne while drinking out of a paper Gatorade cup.
“It’s a mature group that revels, stays in the moment,” first-year Mets manager Buck Showalter said.
The Atlanta Braves also won on Monday, beating the Washington Nationals, 5-2. So the Mets continue to lead the National League East by one game. The Mets are trying to win the division crown for the first time since 2015, when they reached the World Series and lost to the Kansas City Royals in five games.
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(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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Mike Rosenstein may be reached at [email protected].