NL East race escalates as Braves, Mets . rise

There’s just something about the reality of Eastern National League baseball, the way all the highballs feel like they’re going home so the defensive player jogs inside, not back.

Every season since 2018, someone other than the Atlanta Braves have made big additions or entered the season with more fanfare, making it easy to forget that in the end, this division didn’t really yield much of an actual par. Because every year, around this time, the brave remind everyone how hard it is to hold out for themselves The division title rests neatly on their gloves.

This week, for the first time since opening day, the Braves went into a tie with the New York Mets for the first time in the division, overcoming a 10-game deficit at the end of May. The star-studded NL East race just escalated into the most spectacular race of the season, and it’s one of a kind that also includes the Philadelphia Phillies: although the Phillies Track the leaders in more than 10 gamesThe new match format leaves room for them to secure a spot as well. Philadelphia Plays Seven games against Atalanta in the next few weeksAnd it looks like he’s going to have something to play with in all of them.

And like one of those lofty balls, the reality of the Pacific Northeast looks very different from corner to corner.

In Queens, for example, some may see a breakdown, and that the Mets’ functional organs are finally letting yet another opportunity slip by, Even though they have yet to bear a month of loss and have a higher profit rate In the second half compared to the first. Their team based on the percentage of slow It is higher since August 1 than in previous days5th place in majors at the time. Their superstar Jacob Degrom returned from injury last month. Their no-nonsense manager, Buck Showalter, has largely led their veteran club away from distraction off the field and into consistency. Their eager owner spends more on his team than anyone else except the Los Angeles Dodgers. Their confidant, Edwin Diaz, is assembling one of the most dominant chapters in modern history – and doing so with a dazzling theater befitting the excitement that has settled at Citifield this year.

The TV broadcast of the Mets made the entry of Edwin Diaz trumpet like a movie

To the extent the Mets’ meltdown has ever occurred, it consisted of losing two of their three games to the humble Washington Nationals, then blowing up the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday. This streak was enough to force the team to meet on Wednesday before they swept these two-headed pirates. If they fall apart, they do it gently.

But their path to the playoffs got more difficult this week. Max Scherzer, who required four short stints on the casualty list during his seven years with the Nationals, I landed there Wednesday for the second time this season With what the Mets called “left-slanting irritation.” Scherzer missed six weeks with a strain on that deflector earlier this season, although by all indications this time is more like old IL periods than a major problem. Scherzer has a long history of taking short breaks to avoid longer ones, and Showalter said he believes Scherzer will be activated when he is eligible.

In Atlanta – and certainly to those in the industry who watched the Braves in recent years – it would feel like a course correction. It’s not so much a condemnation of the Mets as it is an inevitable and late rise in Atlanta. Braves 63-24 since 1 June. Mets 53-34. The Braves have the third highest game in baseball In the second half .784. The Mets have the fourth high at .766. The Atlanta is more than the Mets, but the Homer Braves are more, too. Atlanta beginners have to 3.11 pm In the second half. Mets appetizer Friday entry at 2.98.

But what the brave always have that seems to start around this time of year, which looks like they’ll have them for a decade or more to come, is a collective experience. They signed nearly every star in the starting lineup for a long-term deal, which means Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuña Jr. and Austin Riley and Matt Olson—and all of them, besides Olson, The main parts of last year’s World Championships were racing They will play together for years to come.

They’re backed by the young talents of Michael Harris II and Von Grissom, both of whom are seeing rare success. Their alternation lost a struggling Ian Anderson but got a fireball from Spencer Strider, one of the season’s exuberant stars. Atlanta is a tyrannical force, one that has proven to be more resilient than everyone else when it matters most – someone who looks set to do it again.

So while the NL East script is familiar in this way, the stakes aren’t: When the post-season begins in less than a month, you’ll start with four best wild card streaks ever. Either the Mets or the Braves will host one of them. The team that won’t land in the most iconic series out of five divisions, is waiting to see who they’ll join there. Both will play this September with distinct novels, one as a crumbling narrative and the other as a revival. Both will likely enter October from the same perspective: that their reality will never be determined until then anyway.