Do the Braves have it in them to chase down the Mets 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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