Mets Send Message To Braves
After losing the opener of the four game set to the Atlanta Braves and playing their worst baseball of the season, the New York Mets had a doubleheaders scheduled. With maybe not as important in the grand scheme of things, the Mets actually needed to sweep that doubleheader to continue their streak of winning their eighth series to start the season.
They did just that.
In the first game, the Mets jumped all over Charlie Morton not giving him a chance. Now, this wasn’t the Mets hitting bombs, but rather, they kept making contact and putting it where they ain’t.
It all started with surprise lead-off hitter Travis Jankowski hitting an infield single. After the perfunctory HBP, this time it was Francisco Lindor, the Mets got RBI singles from Pete Alonso and Eduardo Escobar to jump out to the early 2-0 lead.
Jankowski would be great in this game. He was a huge part of the Mets offense taking part in all of the run scoring rallies. He was there again in the second drawing a one out walk after Luis Guillorme‘s leadoff walk. Lindor hit an RBI groundout to drive home Guillorme, and again, it would be an Alonso single driving home Jankowski.
In the fourth, Jankowski put on a show with his speed. After reaching on a fielder’s choice, he stole second, and then took third on Travis d’Arnaud‘s wild throw. That permitted him to score on a Mark Canha sacrifice fly. Really, as Jankowski explained properly, he does those things a winning teams need to do.
"No one's gonna be buying my jersey. But I still think there's a big part of what I bring to the table that is very important and very needed to winning teams and championship teams, and that's what we have in this clubhouse" – Travis Jankowski pic.twitter.com/LSkTFcJEVb
— SNY (@SNYtv) May 4, 2022
Right there, the Mets had five runs. It would barely be enough.
David Peterson got the call up for the start with the doubleheader. For four innings, he was really good allowing just one run. It would fall apart in the fifth, which is a shame because he should have been out of the inning.
After Travis Demeritte hit a lead-off single, Guillermo Heredia struck out, and Ozzie Albies hit what should’ve been an inning ending double play. However, Peterson booted it leading to everyone being safe. On the very next pitch, Matt Olson hit a three run homer to pull the Braves within one.
The thing is, that’s the last run the Braves would score in the doubleheader.
The Mets bullpen was awesome. Adam Ottavino struck out two in his scoreless inning. Drew Smith struck out two over his two innings. Finally, Edwin Diaz was unhittable yet again. With that, the Mets took the opener 5-4.
If you thought that pitching performance was impressive, you were in for a real treat with Carlos Carrasco in the second end.
After coming out of the gates red hot, Carrasco took a major step backwards in his last start. Given what happened last season, you could understand fans concerns. This start should have allayed all of those fears.
Ronald Acuna Jr. hit a lead-off double, which again gave rise to concerns of the first inning problems last year. Carrasco settled down to mow down the Braves and pitch the first of what was eight scoreless innings.
In doubleheaders, you need at least one starter to step up. When you don’t have that, you run the risk of absolutely burning out your bullpen. Carrasco being the first Mets starter to go eight innings was bigger than the start itself. He saved the Mets bullpen for the next day. This is what veteran leaders do.
After the second inning, Carrasco would allow just two more hits. He would put the Mets in line for a big win.
— New York Mets (@Mets) May 4, 2022
After making the roster for good with the Robinson Cano DFA, Dominic Smith would get his first start since his 4-for-4 game. He picked right up where he left off hitting a two run double in his first at-bat to give the Mets an early 2-0 lead.
With respect to Dom, it is important to note just how horrid the umpiring was in these games and overall. For example, when Peterson allowed his first run of the game in the first end of the doubleheader, the ball that was hit was clearly foul. However, due to inane MLB replay rules, it was not reviewable.
That was definitely a foul ball. pic.twitter.com/D69swJvbSy
— Michael Mayer (@mikemayer22) May 3, 2022
With respect to Smith, one of his issues this season has been horrendous strike calls against him. We saw it again in the sixth with Smith striking out on a pitch that was a foot off of the plate.
When the umpiring is so bad you get tossed on your day off.
— Michael Mayer (@mikemayer22) May 4, 2022
This call was too much for everyone to take. In fact, after seeing this strike call, and really, the umpiring so far in this series, Max Scherzer would actually get ejected for arguing balls and strikes. This was actually the second time in his career he was ejected with both times coming in games he didn’t pitch.
The Mets would wind up winning this game 3-0. The second run came on a monster Alonso home run to the opposite field. Alonso has been shooting that way all year, and now, he has a big homer out there:
Pete crushed this one. 💪
— New York Mets (@Mets) May 4, 2022
This was a big day for Alonso. Between the two games, he was 4-for-8 with a homer and three RBI. This is the type of hitter we have seen him be, and this is the type of hitter who can carry the Mets offense like he did in these two games.
After Seth Lugo pitched a scoreless ninth for his second save of the season, the Mets completed the doubleheader sweep. That was with the help of six scoreless innings out of the bullpen.
Overall, this was not the Mets who have struggled against the Braves. This is a Mets team ready to make a statement. They did in this game and have a chance to win an eighth straight series to start the season and let the Braves know this division belongs to the Mets.