Ex-Brave Beats the Ex-Met
This was a bizarre day even for the Mets. The Mets sent down Michael Conforto and calling-up Brandon Nimmo. Jose Reyes was brought back despite the domestic violence incident. With all of that going on, the Mets still had a game to play.
Jacob deGrom was shaky early on needing a few double plays to get out of a couple of innings unscathed. Overall, he pitched well against a bad Braves team. His final like was eight innings, seven hits, no runs, one walk, and six strikeouts. However, he did not get the win as the Mets offense failed him.
There was a threat in the third when Yoenis Cespedes tried to stretch a single into a double. He was easily out at second when he refused to slide. Instead of second and third with one it, Curtis Granderson stood alone on the basepaths with two outs. A Neil Walker pop out would put an end to the Mets only real threat against Braves’ starter Julio Teheran.
Teheran matched deGrom zero for zero. He too lasted eight innings. He only allowed five hits, no runs, and no walks with seven strikeouts. You could call it a pitcher’s duel between two talented pitchers. You could also call it an contest in ineptitude between two dreadful offenses.
The Braves chance for a walk-off win was stymied in the ninth when Granderson made a sliding catch in foul territory to end the inning and send the game into extras.
The Mets finally broke through in the eleventh when ex-Brave Kelly Johnson hit a homer off ex-Met Dario Alvarez to put the Mets up 1-0. All that was needed was for Jeurys Familia to shut the door and recorded his 26th straight save to open the season. Given the Mets luck and Familia pitching more than one inning thd night before, it didn’t promise to be easy. It wasn’t.
The Braves had a runner on second with one out and Freddie Freeman coming to the plate. At that point, Terry Collins made something readily apparent. He watches Mets games as closely as Mets fans do. He knows Freeman kills the Mets like other Braves’ Mets killers in the past like Chipper Jones (sorry Larry), Brian Jordan, etc. With that in mind, Collins ordered Famila to intentionally walk Freeman.
It was a smart play as it prevented Freemam from killing the Mets again. It was a smart play as it set up the double play. When Nick Markakis hit the comebacker, the Mets got end the game by turning the double play. The 1-6-3 double play was the Mets third of the night.
With all the emotion from today and drama that followed the Mets around most of this year, it is easy to forget the Mets are only two games back in the division and one in the loss column. The Mets will try to get closer tomorrow.
Game Notes: In honor of the Negro Leagues, the Mets wore Brooklyn Royal Giants gear. As Nimmo didn’t get to Atlanta in time, the Mets started Alejandro De Aza, who was 0-4 with a strikeout. Travis d’Arnaud threw out another would be base stealer.