Braves 5, Mets 2: Mets Go Quietly Again. First-Place Nationals Are Waiting.


Mets left fielder Kelly Johnson tracking a home run by Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman during the first inning at Turner Field on Sunday.

Dale Zanine/USA Today Sports, via Reuters

ATLANTA — A team’s place in the standings can drift from week to week, especially in the fickle National League East. Seven days ago, the Mets trailed the division-leading Washington Nationals by five and a half games. The offense was concerning, and more injuries would pile up.

The Mets’ offense remains dysfunctional, yet their standing in the division has improved — even after a 5-2 loss Sunday to the Atlanta Braves. Despite their bumpy June, the Mets trail the Nationals by only two and a half games going into their three-game series that begins Monday in Washington.

“We’ve got to get the A game going and maintain it,” the Mets’ manager, Terry Collins, said before Sunday’s game. He added later: “The next 14 days are very very important for us.”

The Mets pitching staff has carried the team, and did so again Sunday until a late-game collapse by a struggling…

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