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Cespedes, Hosmer among players who are pivotal to playoff races

It appears Yoenis Cespedes will need to carry the Mets again if they're to make the playoffs. Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY Sports

Yoenis Cespedes put the New York Mets on his back Monday, mashing a walk-off homer. He gave them a badly needed victory and a shot of adrenaline. Cespedes heads the group of pivotal players in the pennant races, which is mostly about players covering for a lack of depth.

Yoenis Cespedes, OF, Mets

Yoenis CespedesLucas Duda is out, David Wright is out and Jay Bruce is hitting .163 with two homers in 95 plate appearances since joining the Mets. Their chances of reaching the postseason are fading, and what they need from Cespedes right now is exactly what he did for them last August, when he carried the offense with his game-changing power.

The Mets are 2½ games behind in the NL wild-card race and have been crushed by injuries. If Cespedes doesn't hit, it's hard to imagine them earning a playoff spot.