NEW YORK — The mark of good teams is often beating poor ones. Last year, the Mets fattened up on the Braves, Phillies, Reds, Rockies and others, all of whom finished with losing records. Their renaissance this year dovetailed with the softest portion of their schedule.

But the Braves, a thorn in New York’s side for decades, are no longer playing along. In coming from behind to win a 5-4 game over the Mets on Tuesday, the Braves improved to 9-9 against the Mets this season, putting their rival’s playoff chances in jeopardy. The loss temporarily shaved the Mets’ National League Wild Card lead to just a half-game over the Cardinals and Giants.

The common thread in many of those Braves victories has been starting pitcher Julio Teheran, whose seven innings of one-run ball made him 2-0 with a 0.90 ERA against the Mets this season. After allowing Asdrubal Cabrera‘s RBI double in the third inning, Teheran retired 15 of the final 16 batters he faced.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Danny Knobler is a contributor to based in New York and covered the Braves on Monday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Source: Mets News / Mets make late push, but fall to Braves