The Mets made positive strides toward getting back to .500 with Monday night’s 6-1 victory at home over the Chicago Cubs, but the next two weeks will be an uphill battle for New York.
New York’s next 13 games are against teams that made the postseason last year: two vs. Cubs, four vs. Nationals, four vs. Dodgers and three vs. Giants.
“This is fun, you’re playing the world champs, you are playing arguably the best team in our division,’’ said Mets manager Terry Collins. “We’re a little healthier and having Ces back is big, but we’ve got to go pitch. It’s going to be a fun week. I just hope we go out and play well.’’
The latter of Collins statement is dependent on the severity of Yoenis Cespedes‘ most recent injury. The outfielder left Monday night’s game with a sore heel, so let’s hope that’s all it is.
Regardless, the pitching seems to have turned a corner, as Mets starters have allowed one run or fewer in four consecutive games dating to the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader in Atlanta.
The last time the Mets allowed one run or fewer in four consecutive games was from October 2, 2009-April 5, 2010 (the last three games of the 2009 season and the first game of the 2010 season). The last time it occurred within a single season was April 1-6, 2007.
“The next 11 days are pretty big. We play some very good teams,” Collins said. “Teams that are playing well. It’s the big leagues. If we are going to get back in this, we’ve got to beat them.’’
With the Nationals falling to the Atlanta Braves at home in Washington 11-10 on Monday, the Mets have made up three games of ground and sit 8.5 games out of first place in the National League.
The aforementioned four game series against the Nationals will be an especially important one, as the Mets have an opportunity to get within striking range of first place.