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Mets vs. Braves recap: Niese deals, Plawecki gets first big league hit, and a winning streak gets longer

Jon Niese was good, the Mets scored plenty of runs, and the team's winning streak has reached nine games.

Alex Trautwig/Getty Images

When the Mets’ game against the Braves started on Tuesday night, it had been a couple of days since they won their eighth straight game. It didn’t exactly feel distant—two days is not that long in the course of a baseball season—but Monday was the first day without a Mets win in quite some time. That off day gave everyone enough time to question whether or not the Mets might really be good this year with no game to confirm or deny the notion.

The Braves, of course, came into the 2015 season with low expectations. That didn’t stop them from beating the Mets in two of the three games the teams played in Atlanta in the first week of the season, but unlike the Mets, they didn’t seem like a team that could contend in the best-case scenario. On Monday night, the Mets clearly looked like the better team, winning 7-1 and extending their winning streak to nine games.

The first four-and-a-half innings of the game flew by. Neither team scored through the first four-and-a-half innings, but the Mets got on the board with four runs in the fifth inning. Braves starter Trevor Cahill issued a walk to Eric Campbell and gave up a single to Kevin Plawecki—his first big league hit—before giving up another single to Wilmer Flores to load the bases. But Jon Niese was up next, which figured to bode well for Atlanta. Niese hit a ground ball to second baseman Philip Gosselin, who botched it. One run would have scored on the play either way, but the Mets still had the bases loaded with nobody out.

That allowed Curtis Granderson to hit a hard single to drive in two runs, his first two runs batted in this season. Juan Lagares followed up with a hard-hit single of his own to score the Mets’ fourth run. The Braves turned to the bullpen from there, which got them out of the inning. But the Mets scored another run in the sixth on a Granderson single and two in the eighth on a Granderson double—which was blooped into left field and fell out of Jonny Gomes’s reach before bouncing into the stands—and a sacrifice fly from Lagares.

Niese gave up one run on four hits in six-and-two-thirds innings, which made for a good start. The run came on a solo home run off the bat of Cameron Maybin with two outs in the seventh inning. Niese did walk four Braves hitters in the start, which didn’t come back to bite him in the game but left his walk rate for the season a 4.0 per nine innings.

The Mets’ bullpen wasn’t exactly flawless in closing out the game, but the Braves never truly threatened to get back in the game. Erik Goeddel walked the only batter he faced on four pitches, which left two men on base with Freddie Freeman coming up next for Alex Torres. But Torres struck Freeman out looking to end the seventh. Carlos Torres threw a scoreless eighth, and Sean Gilmartin followed suit in the ninth.

Fourteen games into the season, the Mets have won eleven and lost just three. They are tied for the best record in baseball. On Wednesday night, they play the Braves again with a chance to win their tenth straight game.

SB Nation GameThreads

* Amazin' Avenue GameThread
* Talking Chop GameThread

Win Probability Added

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Big winners: Jon Niese, +26.7% WPA
Big losers: none
Teh aw3s0mest play: Wilmer Flores’s single to load the bases in the fifth, +9.5% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Andrelton Simmons’s single to put runners on first and second with one out in the fourth, -4.5% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +29.3% WPA
Total batter WPA: +20.7% WPA
GWRBI!: Curtis Granderson