If you would have told me in April that this 3-game Mets-Marlins series in the last week of July could end with the Marlins in first place, I would have thought you were crazy.
If you would have told me in June that this 3-game Mets-Marlins series in the last week of July could end with the Mets in first place, I would have thought you were crazy.
But here we are.
And it's a credit to the Marlins that they're in this situation. They've been hanging on all season, and went through a stretch about a month ago where it looked like they were tanking and it would become a two-horse race in the NL East. They righted the ship, and here we are.
They're a game behind the Phillies right now, but have been playing much better baseball lately than Philadelphia.
They were in first place as recently as May 31, with a starting rotation you probably couldn't name (I can't) and are led by Fredi Gonzalez, who has to be the manager of the year.
Like the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East, they've proven to be more than a fluke, and a team that will factor into the conversation for years to come.
But for now, it's time the Mets put them away.
Because if you'd have asked me in April if the Mets would be comfortably ahead in the division by the beginning of August, I would have definitively said yes. And now, with everything that has happened this season, the Mets have that chance. They need to take advantage.