After two straight wins against the Washington Nationals to open the series, the New York Mets have a chance to make things even in NL East.

By Robby Sabo

New York Mets: All Eyes On Citi Field Tonight, NL East Up For GrabsAt this very moment on Saturday afternoon, fans of the New York Mets (54-50) can’t help but pinch themselves until it hurts.

Surely this must be a dream.

The Mets head into tonight’s nationally televised game on ESPN with a shot to even up the NL East with the Washington Nationals (54-48). It’s a notion that very few could have foreseen after Terry Collins’ club regressed substantially after their torrid 13-3 start to the 2015 MLB season.New York Mets: All Eyes On Citi Field Tonight, NL East Up For Grabs

It was a regression that had fans uttering the phrase “same old Mets.” Thanks to horrid injuries and a lineup which produced their current ranking of dead last in baseball in both runs (368) and batting average (.235), overwhelming thoughts that Citi Field would once again host a ghost town during the dog-days started to take hold.

However, after a week of Sandy Alderson pushing all the right buttons – acquiring the likes of Yoenis Cespedes, Kelly Johnson, Juan Uribe and Tyler Clippard while giving up very little – New York is ready for a pennant race, the first this fan-base will witness since 2008.

Tonight, they’ll send out their hottest pitcher to the mound in the form of Noah Syndergaard (5-5, 2.70 ERA) to face Jordan Zimmermann (8-6, 3.36 ERA).

The feel good story doesn’t stop with Syndergaard and this dominant pitching staff known as the Phenom-Five. Adding onto the lineup additions is the recent brilliance of Lucas Duda and the unbelievable story that is Wilmer Flores.

Duda, was in essence, responsible for the Mets win on Saturday night. He smashed two home runs and an eighth-inning double that put the Mets up for good. His eight home runs in the last seven games has everybody thinking of the 2014 Duda, rather than the guy who couldn’t get out of his own was the previous few months.

Flores, has become the newest cult-hero in Floushing. From crying on the field during the Carlos Gomez fiasco, to receiving standing ovations, making brilliant plays in the field, and bashing walk-off home runs, the guy seems once again firmly planted in the Mets lineup.

Even better is the fact that young Michael Conforto has just been recalled due to Kirk Nieuwenhuis heading to the DL:

Suddenly, with the return of catcher Travis d’Arnaud, these bats don’t look so terrible:

  1. Granderson (L)
  2. Murphy (L)
  3. Cespedes (R)
  4. Duda (L)
  5. d’Arnaud (R)
  6. Flores (R)
  7. Tejada (R)
  8. Lagares (R)
  • Plawecki (R)
  • Campbell (R)
  • Johnson (L)
  • Uribe (R)
  • Conforto (L)

If David Wright and/or Michael Cuddyer ever get back and make contributions, then watch out.

Not only are the Mets overshadowing their big brothers from the Bronx recently (who deserve their own acclaim for their tremendous season), but they’ll stand completely alone on Sunday night with the entire baseball landscape watching.

The past two days have provided every indication they are ready for a serious run to October. Let’s see how charged up Citi Field is tonight, with the NL East lead on the line.

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Founder of Elite Sports NY — Formerly of FanSided — Jets, Rangers, Knicks, Yankees, Mets, Giants — Has interviewed the likes of Rob Dyrdek, Michael Waltrip and Dominique Wilkins and has seen his work shared on major publications such as Bleacher Report, Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports, Yahoo Sports, and Yardbarker.

Born as a New York Sports Fan, something unexplainable in his blood that’ll never be shaken. Remembers the Kevin Maas days, the Yankees on MSG, the Bruce Coslet era, and the Spring of ’94.

E-Mail: robsabo10@elitesportsny.com