Do the Braves have it in them to chase down the Mets yet again?

It was only two weeks ago, Mets fans. Think how you felt when Max Scherzer pulled himself from a May 18 start against the Cardinals. Remember the sensation when it was publicly revealed the next day that the righty had a strained oblique that would sideline him for at least six weeks, joining Jacob deGrom and Tylor Megill as out for quite a while.

It was a Lucy-pulling-the-football-away-from-Charlie-Brown moment. The euphoria of possibility dimming into too-familiar angst and despair.

But a funny thing happened on the way out of first place: The Mets improved.

After the games of May 18, the Mets had the National League’s second-best record behind the Dodgers, and they were in first place in the NL East by six games at 25-14 (.641). At that moment, which Mets fan would not have signed up for an NCAA Tournament-style “survive and advance” until the aces returned?

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