NEW YORK – Francisco Lindor and the New York Mets geared up for the playoffs with a 9-2 rout of the Washington Nationals on Wednesday, completing a fantastic regular season with the second-most wins in franchise history.
Jeff McNeil won the major league batting crown without taking a plate appearance, and New York (101-61) finished with the same record as Atlanta atop the NL East. The defending World Series champion Braves had already clinched the division title Tuesday because they hold the season-series tiebreaker after going 10-9 against the Mets.
The only Mets team to win more regular-season games was the 1986 World Series champions at 108-54.
Next up for New York is a best-of-three wild-card series at home against San Diego beginning Friday night. Max Scherzer is scheduled to start the opener for the Mets versus Yu Darvish.
New York went 2-4 this year versus the Padres, who took two of three at Citi Field in July.
Lindor hit a three-run double to make it 6-0 in the second inning. Mark Canha launched a three-run homer in the first, and slumping James McCann had three hits, including a three-run homer in the third.
After the first pitch was delayed nearly two hours by rain, Washington starter Erick Fedde (6-13) gave up nine runs and nine hits in 2 1/3 innings. Alex Call hit a two-run homer, and catcher Israel Pineda singled for his first major league hit.
It was a fitting finish for the rebuilding Nationals, who had the worst record in the majors at 55-107 and will get the No. 1 pick in the amateur draft next year. They were 65-97 last season.
Trevor Williams (3-5) entered in relief to start the second and allowed two runs in six solid innings for the Mets.
Nursing a four-point lead in the big league batting race, McNeil was not in the Mets’ starting lineup. He entered on defense in the eighth but did not come to the plate and finished with a .326 average that was the highest in the majors – one point ahead of Freddie Freeman after the Los Angeles Dodgers star went 3 for 4.
Mets regulars Pete Alonso, Brandon Nimmo and Eduardo Escobar were also rested.