A 6.5-game lead with twelve games to play is a pretty safe margin for most teams, but for the Mets it only brings up memories of the last time they were in this position. 2007 is a bad nightmare for most Mets fans, a ghost that will continue to haunt them until the Mets make the postseason again.
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson is not phased by any of these memories, ghosts or nightmares.
"I don't think 2007 or 2008 means a lot to the players," Alderson said Monday afternoon at an event at the St. Albans Community Living Center in Queens. "I understand it means a lot to the fans that were around during that period of time. Our focus has to be on winning games and having as positive an attitude towards each and every game as we possibly can."
Alderson was quick to remind the media that before their three-game sweep of the Nationals to start September, some were concerned that the Mets' lead could be as little as one game, and it is now 6.5 games, albeit down from a high of 9.5 games on September 14.
Despite the Mets' playoff odds hovering in the high nineties—a calculation based on win-loss probabilities for the remaining 12 games (or 13 for the Nationals)—many fans will nevertheless expect the worst until the Mets' magic number reaches zero.