That's right, here come the Cubs (31-51) with an MLB-worst record of 12-31 on the road. So the Mets, who start play on Friday 4.5 games behind the National League East-leading Washington Nationals, should crush the Cubs, right? Yes, they should -- no excuses.
The Mets (45-38) let their guards down against the Cubs a couple of weeks ago and paid for it. Chicago took two out of three games from New York at Wrigley Field from June 25-27. The Mets salvaged the last game of the set with a 17-1 thrashing of Chicago. They must be just as unforgiving over the next three games, which happen to be the last three games before the 2012 All-Star break.
"It proves that you can't take any team lightly," Daniel Murphy told Mets.com. "We went in there, and they just outplayed us for two games. It was nice to get a win on the way out of there [in the series finale], but we know Chicago can beat us, because they've already proven that."
The Mets were coming off two straight losses and an emotional series against the New York Yankees heading into Wrigley Field last month. Now the Mets have won six of their last eight games and are playing at Citi Field, where they are 25-18. If that's not enough to motivate them, the Mets start the second half of the season with a six-game road trip against the division contenders Atlanta and Washington. They can get a running start for the second half by crushing the Cubs.
"We've got to use tonight's game as some energy, because we've got to finish these next three going into the break strong, so that we can come out flying," Mets manager Terry Collins said.
Adam Martini is a freelance sportswriter who grew up in Queens, N.Y. with a view of Shea Stadium from his bedroom window. He spent many nights in the upper deck at Shea rooting for the Mets. You can follow him on Twitter @PegCitySports.
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