NEW YORK -- The New York Mets just made this coming weekend much more interesting.
That's still a pretty wide margin. But the New York Yankees are coming to Queens this weekend, and the pressure just went up another notch or two, if that's even possible.
The Mets won seven in a row in Washington and Atlanta last week, and came from behind to beat Miami on Monday. But then they ran out of steam, getting outscored 15-3 the past two days.
"We had such an emotional high going coming out of Atlanta, I think you're seeing just a little bit of a drainage of the system," manager Terry Collins said. "If there was a day off coming, I think it's coming at the right time. I think we need to just get away for a little bit, we're gonna come back, it's gonna be pretty exciting starting Friday, and we need to pick the energy level up a little bit."
The Mets did look like they were out of gas Wednesday, producing just three hits off Marlins starter Adam Conley and three relievers. It was the first time they've been shut out since July 23, a span of 49 games.
Bartolo Colon wasn't bad, allowing three runs in 5⅔ innings before the bullpen surrendered three more. Colon gave up solo homers to Martin Prado and J.T. Realmuto and suffered his first loss since Aug. 9, but didn't sound concerned after the game.
"I was feeling good, I thought I was executing well," Colon said, "but they attacked early and they made some good swings."
David Wright had two of the Mets' three hits, continuing his hot streak. He agreed with Collins that the Mets' off day on Thursday is coming at a good time, but shot down the notion that the Mets are tired.
"I don't think it's the energy, I think it's just more so we got outplayed, and that's gonna happen," Wright said. "There's gonna be days where you just get outplayed, and today we got outplayed in every area of the game."
The Mets have reason to feel confident heading into this unprecedented September edition of the Subway Series. They'll have their three young studs on the mound: Steven Matz on Friday, Noah Syndergaard on Saturday and Matt Harvey on Sunday.
They're also playing at home, where they are 20 games over .500, 46-26.
But both Collins and Wright stressed that the Mets must keep their eyes on the prize, clinching a division title. Bragging rights are nice, but there's much more at stake this time around.
"We've gotta look at it as a baseball game, nothing more than that," Collins said. "Just because the place is gonna be crowded, because it's an intracity rivalry -- we've gotta look at it as a baseball game. We need to approach it like it's the Washington Nationals walking in here."
"Obviously they're meaningful this time of year on both sides, and the energy will be there -- the fans usually bring that, and that rubs off on the players," Wright said. "But we gotta treat it like any other game, cause we're down the homestretch now."