Goodbye Turner Field
In many ways, Turner Field was an absolute eye sore from the general design of the place to the players who wore the Braves uniforms to Kenny Rogers inability to throw one over the plate against Andruw Jones. What was ugliest of all was the Mets record there as the Mets were 67-106 at Turner Field. Keep in mind, that record was boosted by the Mets winning 11 of their last 14 there.
Just as the Mets luck would go, just as they were getting the hang of things there, the Braves decided to tear the place down. At least the Mets would close out their book at Turner Field in style.
First, it was the pitching of Seth Lugo. Again, he was economical with his pitches, and he was able to go deep into games. What is also impressive was his ability to once again navigate his way out of trouble. This is where there is a real debate between “traditionalist” and “stat-guys.” The traditionalist say he has an innate ability to get himself out of trouble while stat-guys say he is going to regress to the mean. Right now, with the Mets in fight for the Wild Card, the results are all that matter, and Lugo is getting the results.
After Freddie Freeman singled home Adonis Garcia, the Braves would then load the bases with no outs. At this point, the game was quickly turning from an easy 6-1 lead to a typical Turner Field nightmare. Lugo then induced Anthony Recker to pop out to first base. To be fair, having seen his time with the Mets, that wasn’t exactly impressive. What was impressive was him using his slider to induce a groundball from Dansby Swanson. Despite his speed, the Mets were able to turn the 6-4-3 double play to keep it at 6-1.
It was another great game from Lugo whose final line was seven innings, six hits, two runs, two earned, one walk, and five strikeouts. Overall, he is solidifying his spot on the postseason roster. Lugo got the win not just because of his pitching, but also because the Mets offense exploded.
As usual, when discussing the Mets offense exploding, you need to start with Yoenis Cespedes. In the first, his ground out scored Asdrubal Cabrera, who somehow legged out a triple on one leg, to give the Mets a 1-0 lead. In the third, he then did this:
At this point, not even Lawrence Chipper Jones could have save the Braves.
A shocking James Loney home run in the fourth would make it a 6-0 game. Credit is due to Loney here. After a disturbingly bad August, he has turned things around in September. So far this month, he is hitting .333/.391/.571 with two doubles, a homer, and three RBI. At a time when the Mets need to ride the hot hand to get the Wild Card, Loney has to be playing right now. No, I did not like saying that.
Add in another big rally in the fifth, featuring another Loney RBI base hit, and the Mets would go on to win 10-3. It was such a beating that even Lugo got into the action hitting a sacrifice fly. With that huge lead, it was beyond bizarre that Terry Collins would take his sweet time removing his injured players from the game. He didn’t remove Cabrera until the eighth despite having Gavin Cecchini and Matt Reynolds on the bench. At least, Cecchini would get a pinch hitting appearance in the game (striking out). He waited until the ninth to remove Curtis Granderson for Michael Conforto even if it would behoove the Mets to give Granderson some extra rest where they can find it. Naturally, Cespedes would play the entire game.
It was a good day for the Mets as is everyday they beat the Braves. With the Cardinals losing, the Mets found themselves back a half-game ahead of them in the Wild Card standings and tied with them in the loss column. The only real problem with the game was the fact that once again the Mets failed to wear the First Responders caps to honor the fallen.
Game Notes: Logan Verrett is pretty much done for the season. He got mop-up work in the ninth, and he couldn’t complete the task. After allowing a run, he then loaded the bases, and he needed to be bailed out by Josh Edgin. Edgin would get out of the inning without allowing another run.