Jacob deGrom is unlikely to pitch again in the 2021 MLB season, effectively ending the New York Mets’ playoff chances. As the team continues to tumble down the standings, the latest deGrom injury update could mark the final nail in the coffin for the team that spent much of the year atop the NL East.

The chance that deGrom is done for the season is about 99.9%, a source tells Sports Illustrated’s Pat Ragazzo. The two-time Cy Young winner has been out for six weeks with what the Mets have called right elbow inflammation, and New York is reportedly leaning toward shutting him down as it falls farther out of contention.

Even if deGrom returns, the Mets would be hard-pressed to make the playoffs. With 41 games left on the regular-season schedule, New York is in third place in the NL East. The Mets are five games behind the division-leading Atlanta Braves and six games out of the wild-card race.

After deGrom made his last start, which was a 4-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on July 7, the Mets had a four-game lead in the NL East. At 45-38, New York was the only team in the division with a winning record.

The Mets have since gone 15-23, including six losses in their last seven games. Without deGrom leading one of the MLB’s best rotations, New York hasn’t been able to overcome an anemic offense.

Despite giving deGrom poor run support, the Mets have an 11-4 record in his 2021 starts. New York is 49-57 when deGrom doesn’t pitch.

The 33-year-old was in the midst of a historic season, posting a 1.08 ERA and a 0.55 WHIP in 92 innings. DeGrom recorded 146 strikeouts, and his 4.6 WAR still ranks sixth among all NL pitchers. He appeared well on his way toward winning both the NL Cy Young and MVP awards.

DeGrom’s absence has coincided with the team’s No. 2 and No. 3 starters coming back to earth. Marcus Stroman’s August ERA is 3.91, up more than a full run from his 2.75 ERA in the first half of the season. Taijuan Walker has looked nothing like the pitcher who made the All-Star team, posting a 7.49 ERA in his last seven starts.

The Mets have had one of the NL’s worst offenses throughout the season. While Francisco Lindor and Javy Baez could return from the injured list soon, the lineup likely won’t be potent enough for New York to climb the standings in such a short period of time. The Mets have the most difficult remaining schedule of any NL East team.

Before his latest stint on the IL, deGrom had left multiple starts prematurely with apparent injuries. When the Mets shut down deGrom for another two weeks on Aug. 13, it meant that the ace would return in mid-September in a best-case scenario.

Jacob deGrom New York Mets
Jacob deGrom #48 of the New York Mets pitches in the first inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on August 13, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Jim McIsaac/Getty Images