For those fans who thought the Mets would just waltz into the playoffs, this weekend was something of a reality check. Yes, they managed to salvage the last game of the series with the Red Sox, but they did lose a game in the standings over the weekend. No one said this would be easy.
There is a lot of baseball left to be played — 32 games, to be exact (33 for the Nationals). Anything can happen. Despite their struggles, the Nationals are still a very good team that could explode at any moment. And the Mets, especially the pitchers, are still a young team that for the most part has never been tested in a stretch run.
This will not be an easy month for the team or the fans. The Nationals are not just going to roll over and die. The Mets have six games left with the Nats, including the final weekend at Citi Field. Those games will likely decide the division.
The Mets have a five and a half game lead right now, a really nice cushion. So as long as they take care of business, they should win the NL East. But it is not a given. We have all seen leads quickly disappear, and not just with the Mets. The point is, let’s not take anything for granted. The path to the playoffs has been and always will be a rocky one.