Mets Ran Away From Win

It was Jerad Eickhoff facing off against Ian Anderson, so naturally, this was a pitcher’s duel. That’s nothing to say against Anderson, who has been very good in his brief career. Rather, it’s noteworthy when Eickhoff hasn’t pitched in the majors in two years.

We saw that immediately when the Atlanta Braves loaded the bases in the first with one out. Eickhoff responded by striking out Austin Riley and getting Dansby Swanson to ground out to him.

While not flawless, it was a good start for Eickhoff. He’d pitch four scoreless innings allowing three hits and three walks while striking out three. Understandably, Luis Rojas and the Mets didn’t have him face the order a third time.

Instead, Miguel Castro started the fifth. He’d leave one over the middle of the plate for Ronald Acuña Jr., and Acuña hit a solo homer to deep center to give the Braves the 1-0 lead.

That’s all the Braves needed entering the seventh because of the Mets poor base running. It was almost indescribably bad.

In the second, Pete Alonso was running on the 3-2 pitch, and he thought he could beat Acuña’s arm. He couldn’t as Acuña’s throw was perfect and nailed Alonso at third.

With the Mets offense sputtering, they didn’t get another rally going until the sixth. That started with a Jonathan Villar one out double against Anderson. Of course, because this is the Mets, Villar came out of the game with an injury.

Jose Peraza pinch ran for Villar and for reasons that defy logic he took off for third on a Francisco Lindor grounder to his right. After Swanson easily nailed Peraza, Lindor would make matters worse. With Jeff McNeil up, Lindor broke for second. Anderson threw over leading to Lindor getting caught stealing easily.

In the seventh, the Mets got a one out rally started against Braves closer Will Smith. Alonso and Dominic Smith hit back-to-back singles, and this time, Alonso didn’t test Acuña.

Then, Luis Rojas made a monumentally dumb move. The slow footed Alonso was the tying run, and yet, somehow, Rojas opts to pinch run Albert Almora for Smith. There’s no good explanation why you don’t look to do all you can do to try to ensure you get the tying run.

After James McCann was plunked the bases were loaded, and Kevin Pillar was up. Pillar ripped a liner, but it was right at Riley. Riley snagged it, and he was initially ruled to beat Alonso back to the bag for a game ending double play.

As it turned out, it was a blown call overturned on replay. That’s fortunate as Rojas’ mistake didn’t cost him and the Mets there.

Whatever the case, it didn’t matter as Brandon Drury popped out to end the inning. With that, the Mets ran themselves out of innings and the game. That’s the biggest reason for this split doubleheader.

Game Notes: Joey Lucchesi has a torn UCL. Jeurys Familia was placed on the IL with a hip impingement. Robert Gsellman is on the IL with a lat injury. Stephen Tarpley was the 27th man for the doubleheader. Yennsy Diaz was recalled. Mason Williams was designated for assignment.

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