It has finally happened.
With 23 games left to play, the Mets have fallen out of first place in the National League East.
The Mets, who have held on to the top spot in the division since April 12, and for approximately 150 days, have been caught by the Atlanta Braves.
New York lost for the fourth time in their last six games on Friday, dropping their series opener to the Miami Marlins, while the Braves extended their winning streak to eight with a victory over the Seattle Mariners. The Braves now find themselves a half game up in the division.
Despite the Mets’ current rut, the Braves ultimately caught up due to their league-best 40 games over .500 mark since June 1.
Although the Mets have the easiest schedule in baseball the remainder of the way, they haven't been beating the teams they’re supposed to best. They’ve gone 3-4 to the Nationals, Pirates and Marlins in their last seven games.
The Mets lost Max Scherzer to the IL with left oblique irritation, which isn’t considered to be serious. But the biggest blow of them all is Starling Marte, who could very well land on the IL soon with a non-displaced fracture of his middle finger.
The Mets have a 10.5 game lead in the Wild Card standings. While the playoffs appear to be imminent, they must turn things around down the stretch in order to avoid playing the three-game Wild Card series come October.