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Morning Briefing: Mets face quick Labor Day turnaround

CINCINNATI -- Forget about the second wild card. Maybe the Mets will host the winner-take-all game on Oct. 5.

The Mets (71-66) now trail the Cardinals (71-64) by one game for the second wild card and the Giants (73-63) by 2½ games for the first wild card.

Bartolo Colon looks to keep things rolling when he opposes Cincinnati Reds rookie right-hander Robert Stephenson on Monday at 1:10 p.m. ET at Great American Ball Park.

It’s a quick turnaround for the Mets, who played on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball at Citi Field.

Longtime Red Jay Bruce will be honored in a pregame ceremony. Bruce was acquired by the Mets on Aug. 1 for second baseman Dilson Herrera and 19-year-old left-hander Max Wotell.

MONDAY’S NEWS REPORTS:

  • The unheralded kids keep cruising. Seth Lugo limited the Nationals to one run in seven innings and the Mets won the rubber game, 5-1, on Sunday. Curtis Granderson and Bruce each had two-run homers. The Mets did get a reprieve when the Nationals decided to have Max Scherzer skip the scheduled start to get an extra day of rest. The Mets have won 11 of their last 15 games. Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Record and at NJ.com and MLB.com.

  • Jacob deGrom is very possibly going to miss multiple starts, not just Tuesday’s game in Cincinnati, due to forearm inflammation. Read more in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Record and at NJ.com.

  • Veteran sports writer Hal McCoy writes in the Dayton Daily News that Bruce wanted to land anywhere but New York. Writes McCoy: “I was told when he knew he would be traded he went to the Reds and asked them to trade him anywhere but to New York. Guess they didn’t hear him right and thought he said, ‘Please trade me to New York.’” Bruce responded to the Post's Zack Braziller on Sunday that the report is exaggerated -- just that it did not top his list. Read more on Bruce’s return to Cincinnati in the Daily News, Record and Newsday.

  • Wilmer Flores learned English while in the minors watching “Friends” and debuted the sitcom’s theme song as his walk-up music on Sunday, Marc Carig writes in Newsday.

  • Robert Gsellman and Lugo are no longer placeholders, columnist David Lennon writes in Newsday.

  • James Wagner in the Times notes that a sign has been placed over the door in the Mets clubhouse that reads: “Do your thing.” It is a phrase Jose Reyes often says.

  • Andrew Barbosa allowed one hit in eight scoreless innings and Binghamton beat Erie, 8-1. Playoff-bound St. Lucie completed its regular season with a 7-6 loss to Jupiter despite a three-hit game from Tomas Nido. Gaby Almonte and Kevin Canelon each had seven-inning complete games as Columbia split a doubleheader with Charleston. Michael Paez had two of Brooklyn’s five hits in a 5-0 loss to Staten Island. Read the full minor-league recap here.

  • From the bloggers … Faith and Fear looks at September archetypes and the current Mets pitcher who may become one of them.

BIRTHDAYS: Outfielder Chris Young turns 33. ... Rod Barajas is 41. ... Matt Watson is 38.

TWEET OF THE DAY:

YOU’RE UP: Are the Mets now a lock to make the playoffs?