Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Mets' Magic Number Is 1

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Mets' Magic Number Is 1

Article excerpt

CINCINNATI - Get the champagne ready.

Their magic number to clinch the NL East dropped to one after the Mets defeated the Cincinnati Reds, 12-5, on Friday night at Great American Ball Park.

Noah Syndergaard (9-7) provided 7 2/3 innings of two-run ball, and Lucas Duda set a career high with six RBI by mashing two three- run homers.

The Mets (87-67) can clinch their first postseason berth since 2006 by beating the Reds today, or with a Nationals loss to the Phillies.

Matt Harvey takes the ball today.

"Our magic number is one now; we got our horse, Harvey, on the mound," Syndergaard said.

"Pretty good feeling after that we're going to be celebrating. It's an unbelievable feeling."

After the Mets swept the Nationals earlier this month it became a matter of when, not if, they would clinch the division, and the past two days have brought them to the verge of a division title.

The Nationals have lost four straight games, including Friday to the Phillies, and the Mets have won the first two of this four-game set with the Reds.

The Mets are aiming to be the first National League team to clinch a division title.

Syndergaard's brilliant outing pushed the Mets closer as he dominated Cincinnati for the second time this season. He allowed five hits and fanned 11.

The right-hander's night began with allowing a leadoff double to Jason Bourgeois, but he worked around it by inducing three fly outs to keep the game scoreless.

After escaping that mini-jam, Syndergaard overpowered the Reds with his fastball. After yielding a one-out single in the third, he retired the next 16 batters before allowing a homer in the eighth to Brennan Boesch that made it 12-1.

Syndergaard said he felt "pretty amazing" and located his fastball on both sides of the plate. He also had a good feel for his change-up.

Four Mets relievers allowed three runs while recording the final four outs of the game.

"Tonight was the best [start] he's had," manager Terry Collins said. "That's a good lineup. ... To go through them like he did, that's pretty impressive. …

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