Mets Blow Another One Against Braves
The New York Mets had Taijuan Walker on the mound with the opportunity to win the rubber game of the five game set. In the third, Dominic Smith opened the scoring with an RBI single scoring Brandon Nimmo, but he was caught trying to stretch the single into a double. At that moment, it was hard to believe the Mets were going to be dominated in this game.
Walker who looked promising after rough starts out of the All-Star Break took the mound in the fourth with a 1-0 lead. That would turn into a 2-1 deficit as he allowed homers to Austin Riley and Abraham Almonte in the inning. The home run ball is increasingly becoming an issue for Walker. He went from allowing six in his All-Star first half to five over his first three starts out of the break.
Where it was two blasts which got Walker in the fourth, it was singles in the fifth which cost him the game. He allowed four singles in the inning including RBI singles to Ozzie Albies and, who else, Riley. At that point, it was 5-1 Braves, and it appeared the Mets had no shot at coming back in the game.
Aside from an epic Pete Alonso blast to the upper deck (promenade) at Citi Field, that largely proved to be true. That homer from Alonso might not have been the longest in Citi Field history, but it was arguably the most impressive:
— New York Mets (@Mets) July 29, 2021
The Mets would get no closer. In fact, they’d fall further back when Jeurys Familia allowed an eighth inning solo homer to Dansby Swanson. All told, this was a 6-3 loss. It really seemed the Mets didn’t have any carryover momentum from last night’s big win with Michael Conforto nailing the tying run at the plate. It also seemed like the Braves, not the Mets, were the team playing with a purpose.
Frankly, the Mets were lucky to escape this series with the two wins they had. As a result, they still have a good hold on this division. That said, they allowed the Philadelphia Phillies to remain in this race at the trade deadline, and if that team can address that bullpen, the Mets may be in trouble. Simply put, they needed to be better in this series, and really, in all of these divisional games.
Game Notes: J.D. Davis is in a 6-for-35 stretch with 15 strikeouts. Brandon Drury earned the start after the game winning homer last night. He had a hit in seven straight at-bats putting him two short of John Olerud‘s team record.