Eugenio Suarez Mets Legend
The history of the New York Mets and Atlanta Braves is typically a one-sided affair. Worse yet, it’s one which features Mets collapses and heart ache.
Most of the horrors were fueled by Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz. Glavine came to the Mets, and the balance of power in the NL East seemed to eventually shift to the Mets. Of course, Glavine melted down in Game 162, and nothing would be the same for that Mets team.
Things re-kindled last year. The Mets were in first place for 103 days. Not only did they eventually cede first place to the eventual World Series champion Braves, but they would also have the indignity of finishing under .500.
Things looked dire again this year. The Mets built a 10.5 game lead. It was 6.5 games after the Mets took four of five in an early August series. The Braves should’ve been left for dead, but they fought back.
It was one thing for the Braves to tie the division. It was another for them to take a half-game lead. The Mets responded by trouncing the Miami Marlins.
They have also gotten some help from the Seattle Mariners. Remember, for all the Braves exploits, they’re only 28-33 against teams with a winning record.
After splitting the first two games of the series, the Braves faced a 6-1 deficit in the eighth before Michael Harris II homered. He’d do it again in an improbable five run ninth giving the Braves a 7-6 lead. The second homer was off former Mets reliever Paul Sewald.
The Mets had already retaken the NL East lead, but this Mariners series could’ve given the Mets some breathing room. The Mets needed a re-payment for the favor of the Robinson Canó trade.
It wasn’t supposed to happen this way. Not from the Mets perspective.
Put the 1969 NLCS aside. That was another time in another era of baseball.
The Wild Card and Inter-league play came and so did the Braves tormenting the Mets. Yes, the Mets won two pennants and two division titles. The made the postseason five times.
However, when it came down to just these two teams, the Braves were always on top. The Mets never won a division where the Braves finished second. When they met in the postseason, the Braves came out on top.
That’s what makes the Suarez homer a game changer. In the history of Mets-Braves, the Braves win that game, stay a half game back (tied in the loss column), and they eventually overtake the Mets.
Suarez homered. That is changing the narrative. It moved the Mets up 1.5 games. It’s a little breathing room.
If the Mets do indeed win the division this was one of a series of pivotal moments. It may be THE moment. If so, the Mets owe the Mariners and Suarez a debt of gratitude.