Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Amazin's to Keep Pushing

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Amazin's to Keep Pushing

Article excerpt

CINCINNATI - As the celebration raged around him Saturday night, Terry Collins let it be known that these last seven games weren't just going to be a time to relax.

"Now we go to get home-field advantage," the Mets manager said. "That's next."

As a reward for clinching, Collins gave many of his regular starters a breather Sunday, but the Mets still managed to complete the four-game sweep of the Reds.

Jacob deGrom allowed one run in six innings to lead the Mets to an 8-1 win Sunday afternoon at Great American Ball Park. The Mets (89-67) became the first NL team since 1900 to score three or more runs in 31 straight road games.

The victory Sunday extended the franchise record to 11 straight road wins, and the Mets now lead the Dodgers -- their likely playoff opponent -- by 1 1/2 games.

"Guys came in with that same focus, where although some guys were given the day off, [other] guys stepped up and did a great job and got us a win," said third baseman David Wright said. "Talking home- field advantage, every game counts from here on out."

It was quiet in the Mets' clubhouse the morning after the team won its first division title in nine years, with players moving in and out of the room in which they celebrated the night before. Shirts proclaiming the Mets the division champs hung in front of some lockers.

Collins, who will manage in the playoffs for the first time in 11 years, said he had the "best sleep" he's had in a long time after the clinching. He joyously recalled seeing how excited his players were, and called it a really special day.

Clinching at this time allows Collins the option to rest players, but he's also balancing the desire to earn home-field advantage in the NLDS against the NL West champion -- likely the Dodgers. The Mets have six games left, the Dodgers seven after their loss Sunday. …

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