Mets not feeling comfortable despite hefty NL East lead

Traditionally, Memorial Day weekend has been the time to start out watching baseball’s division races.

Almost one-third of the season is completed, the fog and chilly of spring has lifted and groups typically have a superb sense of who they’re and the place they might be headed.

The Mets entered Sunday with an 8 ½-game lead within the NL East, the most important division benefit of any MLB group. It was additionally the Mets’ largest lead of the season. It’s a group that has been in first place for all however at some point this season. The optimistic indicators are plentiful.

And but the Mets additionally perceive there’s method an excessive amount of baseball forward to imagine something has been settled.

“It’s going to be a dogfight until the end for sure,” Pete Alonso stated earlier than the Mets confronted the Phillies in Sunday evening’s collection finale at Citi Field. “Every game matters, but we have the talent to be able to run away with it. We just need to hold on and hold on tightly and not let it go.”

For a degree of comparability, the Mets entered final Memorial Day main the NL East by 4 video games. They held that division lead into early August, earlier than a confluence of accidents and underperformance lastly caught up with a group that completed 77-85.

Pete Alonso celebrates with Jeff McNeil.
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The distinction this season is the potential for enchancment simply primarily based on the opportunity of aces Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer being wholesome for the second half. So these subsequent six weeks may maintain the important thing to the season.

“We’re all stubborn,” supervisor Buck Showalter stated. “We at all times suppose we’re per week away from simply it by an entire totally different look, good and unhealthy. I’ve been on an growth group the place we’re simply making an attempt to maintain from shedding 100, however there have been intervals by that season the place I’m going, ‘Man, we may not lose another game.’

“And then I have been on teams that have won 100 games and there were periods like, ‘We may not win another game.’ It kind of jolts you into reality about the ebb and flow of a season. You are never as good or bad as sometimes the game will make you feel.”

A big take a look at will start later this week, when the Mets head to the West Coast for 10 video games in opposition to the Dodgers, Padres and Angels, all of whom have playoff-caliber groups. The subsequent wholesome dose of NL East competitors gained’t come till July. By then, groups such because the Braves and Phillies which have struggled may seem extra formidable.

“This is a hell of a division and even though you have teams that don’t necessarily show it record-wise, if you look at the type of players and type of talent in this division, this is a really hard division to succeed in,” Alonso stated. “I wouldn’t be surprised if a couple of months from now you have teams well over .500 and competing, so that is kind of where we’re at right now. But if you look at other teams, especially the Phillies, they have real good starters, they have an excellent offensive lineup and they haven’t played their best ball yet.”

The Mets had been 31-17 getting into Sunday — the group’s finest file after 48 video games since 2007. But simply the point out of that season gives a reminder nothing is a lock: a September swoon of epic proportions prevented the Mets from reaching the postseason.

Francisco Lindor stated the “vibe” he has acquired from this year’s group tells him the Mets are for actual.

“We’re all professionals,” Lindor stated. “I don’t worry about [Eduardo] Escobar’s job. I worry about my job, he worries about his job and we go out there and try to get it done. At the end of the day he’s pulling for me and I’m pulling for him, and that goes for every locker around here.”

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