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Thursday, August 09, 2007

Brave Woes

We got the one game, which of course is less than optimal. However, we retain a comfortable four loss lead in the division. This was a much more important series for them than for us. Had the Mets won two, the Braves would be six back and in trouble. Now they're not as much in trouble, but like they have for the past three months, they'll be playing a series this weekend for third place.

Worry-warts are saying that this is the same old Mets team, struggling against the Braves. I think differently. That particular struggle was put to rest last year. The reason the Mets are 4-8 against the Braves this year is precisely that they're not that good. The flip side is that the Braves know that the Mets are the team to beat, and they don't seem to have any sort of struggles in playing the Mets. While the Mets see the Braves as just one of the teams they have to hold off, the Braves see these games as must wins. The Braves know that they have to beat the Mets to get to the top, and they play these games appropriately.

The Braves have to play this games this hard, because they're not that good. They know they need to get through the Mets to win the division, because even winning what they have against the Mets, they're not in first. If the Mets had even split these 12 games with Atlanta, I'd probably be discussing resting players already. All is not lost though. The Mets have two options that they can very easily take. The first is to start playing like they're capable, beating teams left and right, starting with the Marlins this weekend. If they play strongly, there is no way the Braves can catch up. The other option is to play the six remaining games against the Braves hard, and put the distance between them that way.

The Mets have the capability to play well, and to win this division. They are easily the best team in at least the East, if not the whole league, and when they play well no one else has much of a chance.

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