Mets blow out Diamondbacks as their playoff chase continues

The Mets sent a resounding message on Wednesday.

It could be felt when Arizona starter Robbie Ray, a former All-Star, walked off the field having not completed an inning. Or with Todd Frazier and Jeff McNeil each hitting two home runs. Or even when the Mets jumped out to a seven-run lead in the first three innings.

The Mets announced they are still here, still fighting for a postseason berth. They don't intend to quit, especially not after a third consecutive victory over the Diamondbacks that has them within striking distance with 17 games remaining (they entered three games back of the second wild card spot).

There is something to be said for that after how the season began, and how the Mets have been proclaimed dead multiple times over the last month.

After Wednesday's 9-0 victory at Citi Field, the Mets face an opportunity to sweep this four-game series against Arizona, a fellow wild-card contender that entered the week ahead of them in the standings. The Mets have shown they're not done fighting – regardless of a recent six-game skid or a series loss that followed about a week later.

This race, it seems, will come down to the final week.

Things won't be easy. Not only do the Mets have to win, but their future will also be dictated by something they cannot control: Other teams.

As Frazier said on Tuesday, the Mets are in a "hope phase." Teams don't like to merely hope because, ideally, they want to control their own destiny. But the Mets must hope others lose.

On Wednesday, the Mets shelled Ray and knocked him out before he completed an inning. He'd previously surrendered two earned runs in 22 career innings against the Mets, but New York tagged him for five this time.

Frazier and Brandon Nimmo capped the inning by launching back-to-back homers to give the Mets a five-run lead. When Juan Lagares doubled, Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo walked out to pull Ray.

In 28 pitches, the Mets chased a well-respected starting pitcher.

The Mets weren't done. Two of them notched multi-homer games.

In the second, McNeil blasted one of those home runs that is such a no-doubter that none of the outfielders moves. They might turn their head, but they hardly take a step. That was the case here as McNeil sent one an estimated 444 feet, the longest bomb of his career. He later hit another, his 20th of the season, to secure the first multi-homer game of his career.

Frazier, in the third inning, deposited his second homer of the game into the seats (he also had two on Aug. 30 in Philadelphia). This one gave the Mets a seven-run lead and continued Frazier's tear after he drove in all three of the Mets' runs a night ago.

The Mets feature four players with 20 or more homers, which ties a franchise record. They last did it in 2016.

Steven Matz easily protected the lead over six shutout innings. He only gave up four hits, throwing 109 pitches.

His best act came in the second, when he escaped what could have been a nightmare inning. Matz, right after his teammates spotted him five runs, walked the bases loaded before recording an out.

Somehow, the Diamondbacks left with nothing.

Matz struck out a batter for the first out. He then induced a ground ball to the perfect spot. It went right to Frazier, who stepped on third for the force out, then fired to first to complete an inning-ending double play.

This blowout also allowed the Mets bullpen to rest up for the series finale. That's important because, right now, the Mets need to be thinking sweep the rest of the way. There is little margin for error over the final few weeks.

This week, the Mets are climbing closer to the second wild card berth while simultaneously knocking out a contender.