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It’s time for Mets vs. Giants, Syndergaard vs. Bumgarner

Wednesday’s Say Hey, Baseball previews the NL Wild Card Game while reacting to the AL’s contest from Tuesday.

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New York Mets v Washington Nationals Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

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The NL Wild Card Game is Wednesday night, and it has a whole lot of promise. The defending NL champion Mets and Noah Syndergaard will host the Giants and Madison Bumgarner in a winner-take-all, loser-go-home affair. Ace vs. ace. The Mets’ horrible luck against the Giants even-year dark wizardry. This one has everything!

The Mets are in a weird place since they don’t exactly have the team that got them here. Neil Walker is done for the year. Wilmer Flores isn’t expected back. Matt Harvey, Steven Matz, and Jacob deGrom are all out with injuries. They still have Thor, though, and Bartolo Colon behind him, and playoff teams from years past have won with less. Plus, all they need to do is win this single-game round against the Giants, and then they can start thinking about leaning more heavily on those two when they can in order to make up for the lack of rotation depth. They have to get through Wednesday first, though.

The Giants could make that easy. They could also make it incredibly difficult. It depends on which version of the 2016 team shows up, as they had the best record in baseball before the All-Star break, and were one of the more pathetic teams around after it. They lost a whole bunch of close games, though, so maybe they aren’t as bad as they showed during that latter stretch. Or, maybe the way the postseason works, with a heavy emphasis on bullpens, will be the Giants’ doom.

Maybe it won’t matter on Wednesday with Bumgarner on the mound, given his shortest appearance in the 2014 playoffs was five innings ... in relief. That’s kind of the thing here: both of these teams have issues, but they don’t have to worry about them until Friday. For now, they just need to topple the flawed team in their way.