NY — For the very first time in 16 years, the Mets have the opportunity not merely to win the NL East, but to place it on ice prior to the start of September.
Their 6-0 win on the Phillies on Sunday was never much in doubt, featuring New Yorks usual make of sharp starting pitching, effectual relief work and a relentless offensive attack. Chris Bassitt set up five zeros to increase his streak of innings lacking any earned set you back 24. Reliever Trevor Williams ran their own such streak to 20 innings. Daniel Vogelbach hit a crowd-pleasing homer, Francisco Lindor set a single-season record for RBIs by way of a Mets shortstop, and the club won a rubber game for the 14th amount of time in 18 tries.
The Mets did, in a nutshell, what theyve been doing all season, and the effect allowed them to maintain their 5 1/2 game edge on the Braves heading into another key showdown this week in Atlanta. If the Mets may also split that four-game series, theyll squash the Braves best chance at via behind to guard their NL East title. If the Mets win 3 or 4, theyll effectively sew up the division before school returns to session.
On Sept. 5, NY will start a stretch of 13 consecutive games against clear non-contenders. Its among the easiest September schedules in the overall game, giving the Mets a prime possibility to maintain any lead they build within August.
And build the Mets have. Despite Atlantas sustained pressure in it in the standings, the Mets have maintained first place by winning eight of these last nine, 10 of these last 12 and 17 of these last 20 — mostly against division opponents. They’re turning away all challengers, like the Phillies, who arrived to Queens having won 12 times in 14 games themselves.
They dont overthink it, manager Buck Showalter said of the Mets. This business obtain it. Theyve treated the growing season and your competition and the day-to-day grind with plenty of maturity. I simply think they stay static in the moment effectively.
The Mets are actually 35 games over .500, that is their highest mark since 2006. Only four Mets clubs have ever exceeded that level. Also, they are 14-0-2 in series against NL East opponents, marking the longest season-opening unbeaten streak by way of a Major League team because the 1999 Braves — featuring four Hall of Famers — also won or tied 16 series in a row.
Despite having only 1 surefire Hall of Famer in its ranks, the Mets rotation of Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom, Bassitt, Carlos Carrasco and Taijuan Walker has nonetheless managed a fairly accurate impression of these 90s Braves. NY pitchers allowed merely two runs all weekend contrary to the Phillies, their fewest in a three-game series since 2014.
I believe were still very short-sighted in the facet of not attempting to look ahead at all, Bassitt said. After all, Max throws it to Jake, Jake throws it if you ask me, Im throwing it to Cookie, now Cookie throws it to Tai. Weve got five veteran guys which are really, excellent and with the capacity of putting up plenty of zeros.
Needless to say, not everything is ideal in Flushing. Being an 1 / 2 of the Mets third-base platoon (Eduardo Escobar) was healing, another half (Luis Guillorme) suffered a groin injury which could knock him out for the upcoming Braves series. Brandon Nimmo is slumping, despite showing signs of life with a leadoff double in Sundays victory. Left-handed relief remains an unsolved problem for the Mets, who watched Joely Rodrguez struggle in the ninth inning of a six-run game.
However in the grand scheme of things, they are quibbles — at worst, cracks which could widen later. For the present time, the Mets are thriving, with to be able to make significant strides toward their first division title in seven years.
In 2015, the Mets took control of the NL East in early August but didn’t wrap things up solidly until mid-September. The final time they did so was back 2006, when their double-digit August lead allowed them to survive a mediocre September stretch.
These Mets could be blocking out thoughts of similar achievements, but with another series win in the books, they understand the chance before them.
Its a large week for all of us, playing the Braves and the Phillies and the Braves and the Phillies again, said second baseman Jeff McNeil. Were likely to venture out there and do a similar thing weve done all year: turn out prepared to play, go on it one game at the same time, and well see where we have been by the end of the week.