A loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates and a win by the Atlanta Braves have created a tie atop the National League East. It still includes the New York Mets and with three and a half weeks of regular season baseball left we could see the title change like a WWE championship in the Attitude Era—often.
It’s not a good feeling for the Braves to catch the Mets. There is a positive way to spin it today.
It’s September 7. Better now for the Braves to first catch the Mets than on October 3. Now the team needs to hear the alarm bells and do something about it.
Mets fans should prepare for a tug-of-war in the National League East
The Braves have their share of “easy” opponents just as the Mets do. Between the two clubs, however, it’s the Mets who have the easier road to victory. Even if it is the Philadelphia Phillies that the Braves play seven times and New York has no reason to fear them, that is a ball club fighting for their life and should be able to give Atlanta a little bit of trouble.
The best thing for the Mets mentally might actually be to fall out of first place as soon as possible. All summer, as the Braves crept closer, it felt like there would come a point when they would catch New York. It never did get closer than a half game. When the Braves had their opportunity to do so against the Mets, they rolled over and New York took off while rebuilding their lead.
Winning the National League East is important this year for a couple of reasons. The first round bye looks pretty good but so do the matchups. The Mets would face the winner of the opening series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the third wild card team to start things off. Taking wild card seed number one adds a series and possibly sets them off to play the San Diego Padres—a team they struggled against earlier this year. Winning that would also mean facing the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS. It’s a much tougher trip to the get to the World Series.
No single part of the team is fully to blame for why they’re suddenly losing to baseball’s worst. The lineup has been dreadful. The starting pitching hasn’t been a strength. The bullpen has let too many games get out of hand.
Use this as a wake-up call. If the urgency doesn’t show now, it never will.