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Wild (card) times: Mets go head-to-head with Cardinals next

New York Mets shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera is tagged

New York Mets shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera is tagged out at second base by St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Greg Garcia during the first inning of an MLB baseball game at Citi Field on Wednesday, July 27, 2016. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

SAN FRANCISCO — The Mets will wrap up their 10-game road trip with a three-game set against the Cardinals beginning Tuesday night. It is a chance to make a dent in their biggest pursuit: seizing the National League’s second wild card, which currently belongs to St. Louis.

Of course, the Mets are well beyond the point of highlighting specific series. Entering play Sunday, FanGraphs projected that they have only a 9.9-percent chance of making the postseason. For the Mets to give themselves a chance, they must close the season on a full sprint. After beating the Giants on Sunday night, they are 4 1⁄2 games behind the Cardinals.

“Where we sit right now, every three-game series is crucial,” Terry Collins said. “I don’t care what the name is on the uniform. They’re all big.”

Conforto staying hot

Barring an injury, it’s unlikely that outfielder Michael Conforto will be promoted to the Mets before rosters expand Sept. 1. Nevertheless, he keeps showing signs of regaining confidence. Playing centerfield for Triple-A Las Vegas on Sunday, Conforto went 3-for-4 with a homer. In nine games since his most recent demotion, he is hitting .571 (20-for-35).

Conforto’s sophomore slump has been one of the underlying reasons for the Mets’ pre dicament. In 83 games with the Mets this season, the 23-year-old has hit .218 with 11 homers. He has been demoted twice.

Lineup shuffle

For the first time since Jay Bruce’s acquisition at the trade deadline, he was in the starting lineup along with Yoenis Cespedes, Asdrubal Cabrera and Neil Walker.

“This was a nice lineup to put out there tonight,” said Collins, who has been forced to improvise because of injuries.

Of course, it won’t last. Walker is scheduled to go on paternity leave to witness the birth of his first child.


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