Road trip just what doctor ordered for Mets

CINCINNATI — Manager Terry Collins believes this seven-game road trip arrived at the right time for his scuffling New York Mets.

It’s an opportunity to steer clear of distractions and perhaps get well against the Reds and Phillies, who are a combined 63 games below the .500 mark.

But even that might be much solace for the Mets, who just dropped two of three to the lowly Braves.

“We haven’t played up to what we thought we were going to, coming off as well as we played on the road,” Collins said. “I mean, we played absolutely great. We had some opportunities to do the same things at home and didn’t do it. Right now, I’m staying away from any worry about what’s going to happen. I can manage the anxiety.”

New York depressed the panic button with a 6-4 victory in Thursday’s series opener at Great American Ball Park.

Coupled with the Nationals’ third straight loss to Baltimore, the Mets’ magic number to clinch the National League East is now three.

“It’s a step closer,” said second baseman Daniel Murphy who drove home the go-ahead run with a triple in the seventh.

The Mets are 6-12 in their past 18 games at Citi Field. But, they are 27-11 on the road since July 1, the best road mark in the majors in that span.

“Yes, I’m glad to be on the road,” Collins said. “Get away from some of the other stuff that goes on at home that takes away from the game. Let’s just focus on playing here.”

Entering Thursday’s action the Mets were 12-9 in September with a 4.37 team ERA, their worst mark in any month by a large margin.

Collins, meanwhile, is trying to deflect any thought that his club is backing into the playoffs.

“I’ve been around this game long enough to know nothing’s smooth,” he said. “I think we’ve been fine. What I try to do is make sure we steer everybody in the right direction. We’ve got certain times when something comes up all of a sudden like ‘what are we going to do about playoff tickets?’ Who gives a (expletive) what we’re doing about playoff tickets? Let’s go play.”

Sports Xchange

CINCINNATI — Manager Terry Collins believes this seven-game road trip arrived at the right time for his scuffling New York Mets. It’s an opportunity to steer clear of distractions and perhaps get well against the Reds and Phillies, who are a combined 63 games below the .500 mark. But even that might be much solace […]

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By line By Jeff Wallner, The Sports Xchange
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