Mets’ Brandon Nimmo at bat against the San Diego Padres...

Mets’ Brandon Nimmo at bat against the San Diego Padres in Game 1 of the NL Wild Card Series at Citi Field on Friday Oct 7, 2022. Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Brandon Nimmo played 32 games in his rookie season in 2016, one that ended with the Mets clinching a wild card. He didn’t make the roster then, but wasn’t too upset about it. Surely, the Mets would be a postseason regular, he thought.

Instead, he could only watch as they fell to the Giants in the wild-card game in what ended up being the start of a five-year playoff drought.

So much has changed since then, so when Nimmo was asked about the fact that this postseason might be among the last time he puts on a Mets uniform, he paused.

“I haven’t given it much thought, I guess,” he said before the Mets began Friday’s best-of-three NL Wild Card Series against the Padres. “I guess that gives even more reason to try and not make these the last ones. I’d like to win the last one. That would be good, to be the last team standing . . . I’ve had great memories here this year. And however it works out, I will think fondly of this place.”

There was an air of finality there — a tacit acknowledgment that when he hits free agency this offseason, there’s a strong likelihood that the Mets won’t be his landing spot.

But there also was the thrill of playing his first playoff game alongside fellow homegrown players Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil, who also made their postseason debuts.

They have toiled through a few uninspired seasons, nonetheless creating a core that beats at the heart of this team — from Nimmo’s ability to get on base to Alonso’s power to McNeil winning the batting title.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said Nimmo, who had a two-out triple with the Mets trailing 7-1 in the fifth inning Friday night but was stranded. “You know we’ve had a lot of hard work to get to this point, and now it’s just the time to turn it loose and have fun out there. I’m excited for these guys in this situation. Like I said, I’m excited for this atmosphere. Yeah, I kind of got spoiled on it in the beginning, being a part of the atmosphere in 2016. I got to be in the dugout. I got to enjoy it. And I thought this was how it was going to go for a while.”

Instead, before Game 1, the Mets could only hypothesize. Nimmo had some sort of basis of knowledge, being in the dugout in 2016, but when his 20-minute commute to the stadium took an hour and 15 minutes Friday, there was a curiosity as to what it would be like to take the field.

“I hope that this is a good indication that a bunch of people are going to be here and we’ll be sold out and the fans will be rowdy,” he said — seemingly oblivious to the fact that there was no chance that this team’s starved fan base wouldn’t pack Citi Field.

Alonso added before their workout Thursday: “Never heard or seen a playoff crowd in person . . . I hope they go buck wild and they’re rowdy.”

Part of that has to do with the fact that the Mets themselves have pumped themselves up and want the crowd to reflect that. And even for the mild-mannered Nimmo — a player to whom “rowdy” rarely applies — Friday came with an edge.

No wonder, either: It’s been six years and maybe his last chance to win it all, in the place he started it all.