NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Terry Collins still believes in his team.

After losing to the Nationals — again — on Tuesday night, the Mets are 8 1/2 games behind first-place Washington in the National League East.

But, despite being six games under .500 (57-63), the Amazin’s are just six games behind the Cardinals for the second Wild Card spot in the NL.

While six games isn’t insurmountable, New York needs to surpass Miami, Cincinnati, Atlanta, San Francisco and St. Louis in the standings. The Pirates currently own the top Wild Card spot.

In other words, don’t count on playoff baseball in Flushing this season.

Though reaching the postseason is far-fetched, Collins is confident that his club will stay in the race until the end.

“It’s exciting now because I think September is going to mean something,” the manager said prior to Tuesday’s defeat. “We’re going to go into September and I don’t know where we’re going to be in the standings, but I think it’s going to have meaning.”

General manager Sandy Alderson concurred with Collins’ sentiment, calling the statements “legitimate.”

The Mets have 42 games remaining on their schedule, and they won’t get many more cracks at their Wild Card competitors. They play the Marlins and Braves six more times and have one more series against the Reds, but will not meet the Giants,  Cardinals or Pirates again in 2014.

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