It’s that time of the year again; September call-ups, teams entering their final stretch of their season and numerous teams fighting for a wild card spot. The month of September will show what a team can do when it matters most. No team can allow these crucial games to slip away and cost them a playoff spot.

One team that is exemplifying this is the New York Mets. Despite losing Matt Harvey earlier in the year, Jacob DeGrom going through his recent struggles and possibly looking at a disabled list stint, Jay Bruce not producing like the Mets had hoped and Noah Syndergaard plus Steven Matz both dealing with bone spurs in their elbows, the Mets now possess a spot as the second wild  card holder.

These Amazin’s are receiving unlikely production from the likes of Robert Gsellman, who has a 2.87 ERA during his brief stint with the Mets, Seth Lugo, who has a 2.38 ERA in his stint with the Mets and Bartolo Colon, who has put together a 13-7 record with an impressive 3.22 ERA.

Furthermore, over his last seven starts, he has dazzled with a 2.25 ERA with only seven walks. Not bad for a 43-year-old throwing his fastball around 70 percent of the time. If you want consistent pitching on every fifth day, he is the guy that you want on the mound. That’s a 2.82 ERA among those three starters; not too shabby.

These steady pitching performances from all three unlikely sources are giving the Mets a chance to win these vital games. Additionally, Yoenis Cespedes carries this offense along with Jose Reyes, the latter being spark at the top of the lineup, which the Mets needed all year. The duo also helped the team win eight of their last 10 games.

On the other side of town, the Bronx Bombers, despite trading away Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller and Carlos Beltran for top-ranked prospects, are still 2.5 games out of the wild card at this point in September.

Along with the arrival of Aaron Judge and Tyler Austin, nicknamed the “Baby Bombers,” the unsung hero who is doing it all is the rookie catcher, Gary Sanchez. He possesses an average of .339 to go with eleven home runs, which is spectacular since he has only had 107 at-bats in his young career. He is simply knocking the cover off the ball and the Pinstripes hope that he keeps it going.

On the other hand, one team that has shown that they are crumbling under the pressure of the push to the playoffs is the Miami Marlins. To start off the year, they were a pleasant surprise and were six games over .500 at the All-Star Break.

However, the team lost Giancarlo Stanton to injury for the second straight year on Aug. 14 and with that, lost all momentum. In August alone, they went 10-18 with a .367 slugging percentage, which is a substantial drop off from .422 in July, so that displays how much he means to the Fightin’ Fish. Plus, they have only won two of their last 10 games and dropped to five games out of the wild card.

In general, all the division leads are insurmountable because division leaders are ahead by five games or more in every division besides the AL East where three games separates three teams for that division crown: the Red Sox, Orioles and Blue Jays. At this point in the season, teams like the Mets, Tigers, Astros and even Yankees are making that push for a wild card spot.

That poise for October baseball genuinely shows fans what a team is all about and whether they believe they are making the postseason. Peaking at the right time can be just enough for any of these teams to clinch the wild card and ride that momentum all the way to the World Series just like the Royals accomplished in 2014.

Baseball is a game of poise, momentum, pitching and also timely hitting, especially at this point in the season, so any team that combines all those key aspects will be a dangerous force come October.

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-- Senior | Co-Sport Editor Emeritus -- Digital Journalism & Marketing

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