The Mets have yet to clinch the NL East. Until they do, Terry Collins intends to keep his focus on the present. But the manager admitted Tuesday that he's done some looking ahead.

In particular, the Mets understand the edge to be gained by seizing home-field advantage in what is lining up to be a first-round playoff matchup against the Dodgers.

The Mets are 46-25 at Citi Field. Home games would help the Mets dodge late afternoon matchups in Los Angeles against the Dodgers' aces Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw.

"We'd like to open up here," Collins said. "It beats facing those two guys, those two animals, out there in the shadows. That's not very much fun."

No fireworks

The Mets did not retaliate when Stony Brook product Tom Koehler plunked the red-hot Yoenis Cespedes in the side during the first inning of Tuesday night's 9-3 loss to the Marlins.

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But the incident resonated in the clubhouse.

"I think it bothered us a little bit," Collins said. "So we'll answer in our own due time."

Starter Jacob deGrom acknowledged that the incident caught his attention, though he didn't plunk a Marlins batter.

"There wasn't really a time where . . . " deGrom said, before cutting off his own thought. "I know what happened."

Cespedes shot Koehler a cold stare on his jog to first base. Later, as Koehler squared to bunt in the seventh, he watched an Erik Goeddel fastball sail behind his back.

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Alvarez down

The Mets' might have lost yet another option to face lefthanders in the postseason. In the ninth inning, lefty Dario Alvarez hobbled off the mound with a left groin strain. Collins indicated the injury was serious.