Mets hopeful they can maintain 15-game lead over Nationals for 4th place

After back-to-back Septembers that saw them choke away huge leads in the division, the New York Mets are growing confident that this September will be different. "I am proud to see how this team has put the past two years behind them," said manager Jerry Manuel. "We vowed before the season that we wouldn't let 2007 and 2008 happen again and we've been very successful in doing that." With just 24 games to play, the Mets have a 15-game cushion between themselves and last place and the Washington Nationals. Despite all the pressure and fan expectations, the Mets have played some of their best baseball of the season of late, winning four of their last 10 games. Even with that surge, Manuel thinks the NL East race won't be decided until the last week of the season. "We play the last three days of September in Washington," he said. "I have a feeling that's going to be for all the last place marbles. I'm confident we'll be ready."