Sure, Sunday's 6-5 decision hurt. It left the Mets seven behind the Phillies and nine behind the Braves. Worse still, they don't have Alex Cora's sub-.600 OPS to help them make up that ground.
But in years past, the Mets have had far more punishing losses to their rivals just down the New Jersey Turnpike. A look at the five worst:
1. September 15, 2007- Phillies 5, Mets 3 In a game that appeared to mark Pedro Martinez's return to glory- six innings, one run, no walks, nine strikeouts- the Mets took a 3-1 lead into the seventh inning. But the Phillies struck back with one in the seventh and three in the eighth to close to within 4.5 games of first place. Had the Mets won, they'd have opened back up a 6.5 game lead with just 14 left to play.
2. August 28, 2007 - Phillies 4, Mets 2 (10 innings) Up 2-0 heading to the eighth inning thanks to seven scoreless from Tom Glavine, the Mets let it get away. Philadelphia tied it up in the eighth on an infield single from Shane Victorino that traveled perhaps 30 feet up the third base line. In the tenth, Willie Randolph inexplicably let Guillermo Mota pitch to Ryan Howard, with Billy Wagner sitting idly in the bullpen. Game over.
3. August 30, 2007 - Phillies 11, Mets 10 The Mets managed to waste a three-hit performance from David Wright. They came back from 5-0 and 8-5 deficits. But Billy Wagner, given a 10-9 lead, allowed Jayson Werth to steal second and third en route to a walkoff single from Chase Utley. This also makes the list because of Pat Burrell's two home runs, symptomatic of all Pat Burrell games against the Mets.
4. September 12, 1986 - September 14, 1986 With just one win, the Mets had the chance to clinch the 1986 NL East division title on the Veterans Stadium field. Instead, en route to 108 wins, the Mets managed to get swept. This gets included because it denied me the chance, at age six, to see the Mets clinch.
5. June 21, 1964 On Fathers' Day, Jim Bunning pitches a perfect game at Shea Stadium just a few months after it opened. As we now know, not a single Mets pitcher accomplished the feat during the entirety of Shea's tenure, or anywhere else, for that matter. Fortunately, fate had the last laugh on this Phillies team, at least.