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A Mets Win The Way It should Have Been

George Napiltano/ Latino Sports

Flushing, NY: Sunday night at Citi Field the Mets put a minor dent in the Phillies bid to stay within a game of the first place Braves. They won the series finale 3-2, their 60th one-run game of the season.

Three games with the Phillies over the weekend in what should have been a Mets continued battle for first place. Instead, the Mets have very faint playoff hopes and the Phillies may take this division race to the wire in the final two weeks of the season.

But the Mets played a ballgame that was more reminiscent of their first half success, and resembled a team that was in the thick of the NL East and NL wild card race.

It came down to Mets’ closer Edwin Diaz and NL MVP candidate Bryce Harper with two two outs in the ninth inning. Diaz easily won the battle and the Phillies went home 2.0 games off the division lead.

Rich Hill gave the Mets 4-⅔ innings on the mound. The bullpen threw four shutout innings, that included Aaron Loup lowering his ERA to 1.00 in 54 innings and getting out of a bases loaded jam in the seventh inning.

Loup got the win, 6-0, coming out of the pen before Diaz got the save. Jeff McNeil and Dominic Smith,two Mets who have struggled all year got the big hits. Smith tied the game with a two-run double in the fifth. McNeil, who has seen better at bats hit the go-ahead home run in the seventh.

Yes, this was the way it was supposed to be. Instead the Mets head to Boston and try to keep those slim playoff hopes alive, and as a team they believe it’s not over until the tragic number of elimination becomes official.

“We need to score runs to beat the teams coming our way especially Boston,” Manager Luis Rojas said.”The guy that can be streaky is him. I expect Jeff to finish strong,” he said about McNeil.

But to beat the Red Sox, Brewers, Marlins, and Braves, teams the Mets meet the final two weeks, McNeill and the Mets lineup need to score runs. Rojas said, McNeil put the ball in the air instead of hitting it on the ground and that was the difference that has been seen the past two weeks.

“Hopefully we can get other teams to help us out and give us a shot the last weekend,” McNeil said. The Mets finish up their season with three games against the division leading Braves down in Atlanta .

That was a series that was projected to possibly decide the NL East division. Though anything is possible, the Mets have not been consistent in all approaches on the mound and their inability to score runs widened the gap with the Braves and Phillies.

Regardless there was that optimism Sunday night, even though their chances are improbable due to their schedule. And they would need to go on a possible 9-2 run, but the probability of the Braves and Phillies losing during that span is very unlikely.

But going 28-33 in one-run games will not go far. The Mets realize they have been in many of those situations and if they scored more runs, perhaps this win over the Phillies would be more significant.

But the Mets will take the win. They won a ballgame that was reminiscent of their first half when they held first place from mid-May until things went the other way.

The Braves improved and the Phillies continued their inconsistent streaks of wins and losses. The Mets did not win against the lower division teams of the Marlins and Nationals. They won three games during a tough 13-game stretch with the Giants and Dodgers, two of the NL elite teams.

But that was not good enough. Yes, there is always that contention of playing out the string and seeing what happens.

Rich Mancuso: Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso

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