NY — Given how things have a tendency to bypass Willets Point, it had been possible for some pockets of Mets fans to envision a worst-case scenario entering this weekends five-game series contrary to the Braves. An Atlanta sweep could have pushed the Mets to second place for the very first time since early April. A lot more than that, it could have solidified the Braves as clear division favorites entering the stretch run of these NL East defense.
Such doomsday scenarios is often as much part of Queens baseball culture as whatever happened in 1969 or 86. But these Mets want no section of such cynicism. Once the Braves trimmed New Yorks NL East margin from 10 1/2 games on June 1 to just half of a game on July 23, prompting Austin Riley to declare on Braves television which were coming for them, the Mets reeled off a seven-game winning streak to wrest back firm control of the division. Once the Braves once more became more vigorous at the Trade Deadline, the Mets went and beat them in a five-game series at Citi Field.
With a doubleheader sweep on Saturday, including an 8-5 win in the matinee and a 6-2 triumph in the nightcap, the Mets clinched that series victory over their closest division rival. Whats more, they appeared as if a team without fascination with being caught. Max Scherzers seven scoreless innings in Game 2 provided the most recent vindication of the Mets decision at hand him a record-setting $130 million contract this offseason.
With Scherzer, the Mets have legitimized their contention. His 11-strikeout performance moved him right into a tie with Justin Verlander for 14th put on the all-time list, while improving his record to 3-1 with a 1.37 ERA in seven starts since returning from the injured list. Pete Alonso collected three hits in the nightcap after Francisco Lindor did exactly the same in the matinee, demonstrating how potent the Mets could be when their stars are clicking.