With 19 games left in the Major League Baseball season after Monday night's loss, the Mets were 10 games out of the final National League Wild Card spot.
It would take a near-perfect finish for the Mets (65-78) to find a way in and that might not even be enough.
While the Mets odds have essentially slipped to zero, there are still a handful of reasons to check in on the Mets over the month of the September (beyond unwavering loyalty). Here are the five most intriguing storylines for the final month of the season:
Pete Alonso's power push
Pete Alonso's power this season has already helped him achieve new mark in the Mets' record books.
With 43 home runs, Alonso has already recorded his third season with 40 or more home runs, becoming the first Mets player to achieve that feat. He's the fifth player in major league history with three or more seasons of 40 or more home runs in the their first five seasons, joining Ralph Kiner, Ryan Howard, Albert Pujols and Eddie Mathews.
With 189 home runs, Alonso has the fifth-most home runs of any Mets player, three shy of matching Howard Johnson for fourth in franchise history.
Kodai Senga's award candidacy
The MLB debut of Kodai Senga has been a strong one.
After 11 seasons in Nippon Professional Baseball, Senga had to get acclimated to a new baseball, workload and the rigors of travel but has hit the ground running in his first season in the major leagues.
In 26 starts this season, Senga is 10-7 with 181 strikeouts — second-most as a Mets rookie behind Dwight Gooden — and a 1.23 WHIP. Senga's 3.07 ERA is sixth-best in MLB and third in the National League. He leads all rookies in innings pitched (149⅓) and strikeouts.
While Senga has a strong case as the best NL rookie pitcher, he must contend with the Diamondbacks' Corbin Carroll, Reds' Spencer Steer and Dodgers' James Outman, among others, for the overall honor of NL Rookie of the Year. With 24 home runs, 69 RBI and 47 stolen bases, Carroll is the prohibitive favorite,
Plus, the Mets are monitoring Senga's workload down the stretch. The most innings he has thrown in a regular season in Japan was 181⅓.
David Peterson & Tylor Megill: Back end options?
The 2023 season was supposed to be a coming-of-age campaign for both David Peterson and Tylor Megill, but the duo has found mixed results while filling in at the back of the Mets' rotation.
Senga and Jose Quintana are the only sure things in the Mets' rotation beyond this season, but both Peterson and Megill have key opportunities to prove they belong next season.
Peterson began the season in the No. 5 spot but opened with a 1-6 record with an 8.08 ERA in his first eight starts before being demoted. Megill filled in for an injured Justin Verlander, making his second straight Opening Day start and working to a 6-4 record in his first 15 starts but carried a 5.08 ERA and .803 opponent OPS.
Since both returned to the rotation in August, there has been glimpses of promise. Megill's fastball has returned to the upper-90s and he's 2-1 with 26 strikeouts and a 3.12 ERA in 26 innings over his last five starts. Peterson has shown better command at points, while allowing 15 earned runs in his last seven starts (4.22 ERA) and striking out 35 in 32 innings.
Both pitchers will look to prove they belong next year. Jose Butto is also getting his first major look at the MLB level.
Rookie results: Brett Baty, Mark Vientos and more
While the Mets have a core of veterans who will be occupying the lineup for the long haul, they are still looking to see what they have with their contingent of young players.
Brett Baty spent the majority of time at third base after the Mets traded Eduardo Escobar to the Angels on June 23. In 94 games this season, Baty is slashing .211/.278/.316 with nine home runs, 29 RBI and 33 runs while showing improvement in the field. But recently, he spent nearly a month in Triple-A Syracuse trying to regain his form. He's 4-for-28 since returning.
After seeing limited time during his first call-up between May and June, Vientos has had a more regular chance over the last two months. In 30 games since rejoining the Mets, Vientos has a .630 OPS with three home runs, eight RBI and eight runs.
Both have shown growing pains in their first seasons, and the Mets will be looking for more consistency as they grow into their roles.
Francisco Alvarez has had the Mets' strongest rookie season, with 22 home runs, 51 RBI and a .727 OPS but there have been regular dips in production, leading to a .215 batting average. Ronny Mauricio has impressed in his first action, going 10-for-32 with a run, three RBI and four stolen bases in his first nine games.
Will Edwin Diaz return?
When Edwin Diaz learned that the recovery timeline for a torn patellar tendon was six to eight months, the Mets All-Star closer was always shooting for the minimum stay on the shelf.
Since suffering the injury during the World Baseball Classic in mid-March, Diaz has hit each of his checkpoints in his recovery. The right-hander, who signed a five-year, $102 million deal in the offseason, threw his first outdoor bullpen session late last month and has thrown more sessions over the last two weeks.
Diaz traveled with the team on their last road trip so pitching coach Jeremy Hefner could monitor his work. Diaz sprinkled in his slider for the first time last time out.
The Mets continue to weigh whether it's worth the risk to bring back the best closer in the game with the season effectively over. Would that provide Diaz with confidence heading into the offseason or be too large of a gamble to take?
This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: NY Mets: Pete Alonso, rookies reasons to still watch in 2023