Morning Briefing: Mets await playoff opponent

PHILADELPHIA -- The day after the New York Mets clinched the National League East title in 2015, Terry Collins’ lineup in Cincinnati included Kelly Johnson at shortstop and a bevy of bench players. With the Mets now having clinched a home wild-card game, look for Sunday’s regular-season finale in Philadelphia to similarly be filled with backups.

Noah Syndergaard, who would have started the 3:05 p.m. ET game had it been meaningful, instead will throw a bullpen session at Citizens Bank Park in preparation for Wednesday’s wild-card game against the San Francisco Giants or St. Louis Cardinals. Gabriel Ynoa (1-0, 7.90 ERA) starts opposite right-hander Jerad Eickhoff (11-14, 3.72) in a game that now should be most remembered for being Ryan Howard’s finale as a Phillie.

Collins already has pledged to sit banged-up Yoenis Cespedes and Asdrubal Cabrera in addition to avoiding Syndergaard and presumably resting heavily used relievers Jeurys Familia and Addison Reed.

San Francisco enters the regular season’s final day with a one-game lead over St. Louis for the NL’s second wild-card berth. If the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Giants and the Cardinals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, San Francisco and St. Louis will have a play-in game Monday at Busch Stadium. Any other outcome and the Mets and Giants will be set to meet Wednesday at Citi Field, with Syndergaard opposing left-hander Madison Bumgarner.


  • James Loney had a tiebreaking two-run homer and Familia notched his 51st save as the Mets clinched a postseason berth -- and home-field advantage for the wild-card game -- with a 5-3 victory against the Phillies on Saturday. The Mets (87-74) then celebrated with the slew of their fans who had traveled to Citizens Bank Park for the clincher. The Mets are 27-12 since Aug. 20, the best record in the majors during that span. They are also a season-high 13 games over .500. Loney, by the way, was inserted in the lineup because Lucas Duda was too sore to play in a second consecutive game after returning from a stress fracture in his lower back with no rehab games. Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Times, Newsday, Record and at NJ.com and MLB.com.

  • The Mets performed their annual rookie hazing Saturday. The rookies dressed up as players from “A League of Their Own” to travel to and from the stadium. The Mets originally had picked the trip from Miami to Philadelphia for the ritual, but postponed it over sensitivity to the tragic situation with the Marlins. Read more in the Daily News and at MLB.com.

  • Read more on Syndergaard being able to skip Sunday’s game in the Post, Newsday and at NJ.com.

  • Steven Matz will undergo surgery Tuesday in New York to remove bone spurs from his pitching elbow. Doctors will not operate on the impingement in Matz’s left shoulder, although they will do a platelet-rich-plasma injection in the area.

  • Mets radio voice Howie Rose pens an ode to retiring Vin Scully in the Post.

  • The Mets truly earned their champagne this season, columnists Joel Sherman in the Post, John Harper in the Daily News, David Lennon in Newsday and Mike Powell in the Times suggest.

  • Columnist Mike Vaccaro in the Post highlights the contributions of Collins, Jose Reyes and T.J. Rivera to the Mets reaching the postseason.

  • David Wright, rehabbing in Los Angeles, texted Reyes congratulations after the Mets clinched Saturday, Anthony Rieber writes in Newsday.

  • Rieber in Newsday writes that Matt Harvey congratulated North Carolina for its college football victory Saturday over Florida State before later offering congratulations to his Mets teammates.

  • From the bloggers ... Faith and Fear hails the 2016 season as the rightful heir to 1973. … Mets Report believes this year could become more special than 2015. … Blogging Mets believes the fact that the Mets are a wild-card team is simply amazing.

BIRTHDAYS: Scott Schoeneweis turns 43. ... Kevin Kobel is 63.


YOU’RE UP: Who would win the matchup or Syndergaard versus Bumgarner at Citi Field?