ATLANTA, GA – AUGUST 17: Jeff McNeil #1 of the New York Mets reacts after tagging out Ronald Acuna Jr. #13 of the Atlanta Braves during the seventh inning at Truist Park on August 17, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Adam Hagy/Getty Images)

Blame these three culprits for how the New York Mets blew a huge lead in the NL East.

The New York Mets have held onto at least a part of first place for months. Even when the Atlanta Braves caught them earlier this week, the schedule and results didn’t allow for the Mets to fall out of first place. They, instead, had to suffer through a few hours of being tied with Atlanta.

It’s not a collapse. That word is reserved for what the team did in 2007 and again in 2008. What the Mets are experiencing in 2022 is much different.

And we have a few culprits to point the finger at when it comes to how this team blew what was a huge lead in the National League East.

1) Mets need to blame the Braves for blowing the NL East lead

There is only so much the Mets can control. When they’ve faced the Braves, they have done well. However, they can’t always face their greatest nemesis. Most of the time, the Braves are able to feast on other teams throughout the season.

The blown lead in the NL East is a result of the Braves playing fantastic baseball. It’s not even fair to point at the schedule and say they had an easy ride through the summer while the Mets had a more difficult one. Things were even enough.

While the Mets played good baseball worthy of awarding them with the second-best record in the National League, the Braves have played insanely good baseball for a few months. Whatever it is that caused the Braves to go from a middling franchise in 2022 to one of the best is to blame.

The Mets’ playoff magic number isn’t so bad at the moment. But because of the Braves, capturing the NL East is going to come down to the wire.

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