It’s time to put up or shut up for Terry Collins and the Mets, and though they’ve been one of the hottest teams in baseball this month, it’s not like they’ve been beating juggernauts.
Winners of four in a row and seven of eight, their good fortune has come against the National League’s worst Colorado Rockies and the hapless Cincinnati Reds who aren’t too far behind them.
The Mets have now pulled to within 5 1/2 games of the Pittsburgh Pirates for the second wild card, but still have five teams they have to leapfrog to get there. So not only must they keep winning, they have to hope all the other teams start folding.
The bad news is that the Washington Nationals head to Queens for a four game set, and all they’ve done is win 11 straight games against the Mets in Citi Field. In fact, going back to the 2011 season, the Nationals are 25-4 at Citi Field.
The Nationals have owned the Mets this season, winning 10 of their 12 contests and outscoring the Amazins 62-34 in the process.
The Mets have been thriving due to strong efforts from their starting pitching these last two weeks, but tonight the real test begins. Here are the probables:
Sun: LHP Jonathon Niese (8-10, 3.59) vs. RHP Jordan Zimmermann (11-5, 2.93), 1:10 PM
You want to keep claiming you’re in the hunt and legitimate contenders? Then lets see you take three of four this weekend. Make me a believer.
I’ll leave you with this little nugget of hope. The Elias Sports Bureau notes that only two teams that were under .500 with 16 games or fewer remaining in their season came back to make the playoffs.
One of those teams were the 1973 Mets, who were under .500 with nine games remaining.