By Declan Finn
The Washington Nationals are quickly becoming the team New York Mets fans despise more than any other in the big leagues. More than the Yankees. More than the Braves and Phillies. The Nationals are the ones who have owned the Mets this season and most likely ended their feel-good run into postseason contention with a crushing defeat Thursday night.
After a 6-2 victory, the Nationals are now 11-2 against the Mets this season and have won 12 games in a row overall at Citi Field, the most ever by a visiting team. The last one, however, was the likely final blow to the Mets' wild card hopes. The Mets dropped a game to the Pirates Thursday night and sit 6.5 back. The only chance the Mets might have now is to sweep the remaining 15 games on the schedule.
The Mets still have three games remaining with the Nationals to change their fortunes, but it might be too late to stay in the wild card hunt. But if this Mets run into contention taught us anything, it's crazy things happen in this league.
The Pirates own the second wild card spot over the Brewers, 1.5 games back, the Braves, two games back, the Marlins, 5.5 games back, and the Mets, 6.5 back.
Today, the Mets need a number of things to happen to get back into the race. First, they need to finally beat the Nationals. If they can't, then the season really is over, especially considering the Pirates are getting hot. For scoreboard watching, Mets fans must root for the Cubs over Pirates, Reds over Brewers, Rangers over Braves and Phillies over Marlins. If all those things happen, the Mets extend their season to the weekend.