Yes, the New York Mets have been bad in the second half, relinquishing a division lead they held onto for months. Yes, as of Saturday morning, they would still be out of the playoffs if the season ended today. But they sure have been playing better as of late and, after defeating the Washington Nationals 6-2 on Friday night, have gotten back to playing .500 ball.
The Mets’ 67-67 record is now good enough for them to be 4.0 games behind the Atlanta Braves after they lost on Friday. The Braves are 3-7 in their last 10 games and New York has won six straight contests. After looking dead a week and a half ago, there is now hope in Queens.
The Mets are within four games of the division lead for the first time since August 16.
“As you can imagine, it’s great,” first baseman Pete Alonso said to MLB.com about the postgame clubhouse mood. “It’s awesome to rip off six in a row, especially against teams in the division. We’re just really happy with how we’ve performed, and we’re really looking forward to the rest of the season.”
The Mets hung on for the victory
Mets’ closer Edwin Diaz blew a save in the ninth by allowing two runs. However, Alonso had a crucial run-scoring single in the tenth, a hit that started a four-run rally.
Despite the blip in the ninth, it was a good night overall for the Mets. Starting pitcher Rich Hill hurled six shutout innings to give his offense the best possible chance to win the ballgame, which they ultimately did.
“I feel like we’re playing good, clean baseball, and the wins show that,” Alonso said. “I’m really excited for this last month.”
After going 2-11 in their 13-game stretch against the Dodgers and Giants, the Mets are still alive by winning their last six.
“The most important part of how we’ve been playing is just how together and how united we’ve been,” Jonathan Villar said through an interpreter, “just to continue going out there and to continue battling so we can get the results that we want.”