Mets sweep lowly Nationals, but tougher tests lie ahead

The New York Mets were able to move up to second place in the NL East standings after sweeping the Washington Nationals in Thursday’s twin bill. The victories were much, much needed, as they put the Mets just 0.5 games behind the Philadelphia Phillies for the top spot in the division.

One of the victories was propelled by a walk-off home run by Mets’ first baseman Pete Alonso, who days before had urged fans to believe in the team. New York won the two games 5-4 and 4-1.

“I think this team has showed over and over again this season the fight that they have,” outfielder Brandon Nimmo, who drove in all four of the Mets’ runs in their 4-1 win in the first game of the doubleheader, told “So happy for Pete to come through in that last game. That’s huge. This series was huge. From here on out, every game is going to be big.”

Nimmo is right: from here on out, every game is huge for a Mets’ team that held the top spot in the East for months and recently lost it to the Phillies. New York will play 13 straight games against the two best teams in the National League: the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Mets need to beat quality teams

That’s why it was so important for the Mets to sweep the series against the Nationals. With the victories yesterday, and the one-run win on Wednesday, they host the Dodgers today in a good position to re-take the NL East lead by the weekend.

“Over the course of 162 games, this team is built to last,” Alonso said. “I feel that, and I know I’m not the only guy that feels that.”

The Mets know that in order to make the playoffs, they need to beat quality teams. This is the perfect time to prove that they are capable of big things.

“If you want to be a playoff team, then you have to beat some other playoff teams,” Nimmo said. “These two teams are very, very good. They obviously have very good records and very good track records of success. So these next few series will be good tests of playoff baseball. I think that’s the significance of it, is just getting down to the nitty-gritty of the season and where we want to be.”

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