Baseball is a game of ebbs and flows where a lot can change over a 162 game season during which you are playing nearly every day. For this reason, it was probably foolish when many, myself included, declared the NL East divisional race to be over at the beginning of August after the Mets took four out of five from the Braves in New York to stretch their lead to seven games.
Since then, it almost has felt like the Braves have been incapable of losing. It’s not even that the Mets have been particularly horrible until the past five days or so, losing games to bottom feeders such as the Nationals and Pirates. But the Braves took 3 of 4 from the Mets in their most recent series a couple weeks ago and haven’t looked back since. If the Mets slipped up, the Braves have been right there to make it up.
Even taking two of three from the best team in baseball, the LA Dodgers, last week didn’t do anything for the Mets, with the Braves matching them and taking two of three from the Rockies the same week. Atlanta followed that up with a sweep of the Marlins and then with last night’s win in Oakland, here we are.
26 games remain, and you might as well call both of their records now 0-0. It will be an absolute dog fight to the finish, but how could one not like the Braves chances to win the division at this point? They have all the momentum and confidence in the world, and the Mets seem about as shell shocked as can be. A double header with the Pirates today presents an opportunity for New York to regain the lead, but these Braves are not going anywhere, and the Mets now know that better than anyone.
The two teams will face off one more time the first weekend of October in Atlanta for a three game set, which will be the second to last series of the season for both teams. Is the stage being set for a dramatic, winner take all, epic showdown in Atlanta at the end of the season? Or will the Braves keep streaking and the Mets keep losing and it won’t even matter? Time will tell, but either way, Braves fans have to feel great about where they are at based on the division race appearing so grim just a few weeks ago.