Joe Maddon's Cubs handed the Mets a loss on Tuesday night to kick off their three-game set at Citi Field, a crucial series that the Mets need to win to gain ground in the Wild Card race.
But it was just a couple months ago that the Mets being in the hunt for a postseason berth seemed like a pipe dream. That's why many believe GM Brodie Van Wagenen would be a seller at the trade deadline.
Instead, he shocked many by keeping his valuable assets in a Mets uniform. And Maddon loved that move.
"Come on, it was wise to not get rid of those guys," Maddon told The Post's Dan Martin.
Though they may be on a four-game losing streak at the moment, that seems to be the right move based on the Mets' post All-Star break production. It's the type of production that Maddon was predicting at the start of the season based off their rotation being one of the best in the league again as well as some young and hungry bats in the lineup.
"I've been on the Mets all year," he said. "I thought they were better than their record indicated early on and now they've finally arrived at that point."
After going 40-50 in the first half, the Mets are currently 27-14 as they make their push for the second Wild Card slot. But they'll need to turn it around soon against the Cubs in these next two games if they wish to remain toward the top of their competition.
It could've began last night with Marcus Stroman, Van Wagenen's big addition at the deadline, on the rubber. However, the high-pressure situation he was searching since he left the Blue Jays didn't see his best stuff come out of him after allowing four earned over his outing. It was two-run home runs from Javier Baez and Addison Russell that did him in.
Still, Maddon loved the addition of Stroman to the starting rotation that already sported Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom, who have been the most dominant pitchers in the NL since the All-Star break.
"They made their starting staff better," Maddon admitted to Martin. "Their bullpen has gotten more straightened out. They have some young hitters that know what they're doing at the plate. They're interesting, man."
Overall, Maddon can dig what the Mets are cooking up in Queens. He obviously wants to remain above them in the standings, but he knows it'll be tough on the road.
And much like what he has on his roster in Kris Bryant, Baez, Anthony Rizzo and others, there's a youth movement going on in New York, too.
"I like their young players on the field a lot," he said. "[Amed] Rosario, I've always been a fan. [Jeff] McNeil and then [Pete] Alonso, from the beginning, and the [J.D.] Davis kid, I liked him from the beginning. [Michael] Conforto's come back."
Hopefully the Mets can wake up on Wednesday night and prove Maddon's praises right.