They saw their 9 1/2-game lead dwindle to six after losing back-to-back series. They now lead in the NL East by 6 1/2 games as the Nationals were rained out in DC.
"We needed this win bad,” manager Terry Collins said of Monday's win. “This win is a big one for us. It kind of rights the ship a little bit, especially after [Sunday] and all the things that have taken place."
Collins told reporters before Monday's game that his team appeared down after Sunday's loss to the Yankees.
"'Did we not stay in first place?'" Collins asked them after the game. "I said, 'Turn the damn music on and let's get ready for [Monday].'"
Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com
This was a big win, Terry is right. More than anything, it changes the conversation. The players are scoreboard watching, not just before and after, but during the game, I'm told. They're very aware of Washington's every move, from who they're playing, to injuries to whether they won or lost. So, they knew the Nationals were gaining ground, all while the Mets were letting games slip away night after night. Last night, with the Nationals off, Mets players could exhale and get a good night's sleep, knowing they reduced their magic number to 7.
By the way, the Mets can no longer clinch the NL East during their current home stand. The earliest it can happen is Friday in Cincinnati, though it's more likely to be some day next week.