Matz And Rosario Difference Makers
Before the season, it was expected the National League East would be extraordinarily tight, and so far it has proven to be true. Entering this series, the Mets, Braves, and Phillies had a 7-4 record, and the Nationals were 6-5.
Entering the season, the Mets were looking for something to separate themselves from the pack. One of those things is the possibility Steven Matz and/or Amed Rosario could break out. Tonight, against the Braves, we got a glimpse as to what that might look like.
In Matz’s last start, he appeared to figure something out. Aside from a pair of very hard hit balls, Matz carried that success into tonight.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) April 11, 2019
That speaks to Lagares’ insane ability out there more than it does how catchable that ball was. Seriously, there are maybe three center fielders who could even be in position to make that play.
Those were but two of the four hits Matz allowed as he shut down the Braves. At one point, he would retire 13 in a row. Overall, he would pitch six innings allowing just those two runs while walking one and striking out eight.
He’d be in line for the win because Rosario was great tonight.
First, there was the no doubter three run homer off Kevin Gausman in the second inning:
— New York Mets (@Mets) April 11, 2019
Rosario came up in the sixth with runners on the corners and two outs, and the Braves went to the bullpen to bring in Wes Parsons. Rosario would hit an opposite field RBI single to increase the Mets lead to 4-2.
Rosario accounted for the first four Mets runs. The next two came courtesy of a monster Pete Alonso homer:
— New York Mets (@Mets) April 12, 2019
Cespedes 115.1 x2
Conforto 114.9 x2
— Jacob Resnick (@Jacob_Resnick) April 12, 2019
For a moment, that 6-2 lead didn’t look like it’d be enough. All season long, the Mets bullpen has been suspect, and Robert Gsellman has been one of those frustrating relievers.
He’d load the bases with one out, and against expectations, Gsellman would get out of the jam. First, he’d strike out Ozzie Albies, and then he’d get Josh Donaldson to ground out to get out of the jam.
Luis Avilan wasn’t as lucky. After retiring Freddie Freeman to start the eighth, Acuna hit a bomb to make it 6-3. The Braves pinch hitting Charlie Culberson, the Mets went to Jeurys Familia for the final two outs of the inning.
Edwin Diaz then came on and recorded his fifth save in as many chances for the Mets. Although, it should be mentioned it wasn’t easy with Freeman coming up as the tying run (he struck out). This is definitely a Mets thing.
With the win, the Mets are ahead of the Braves in the standings for at least a day, and on this day, the difference makers were Matz and Rosario.