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Mets Recap: Braves 5, Mets 3—Mets betray their inexperience, vice versa

Miscues by players thrust into unfamiliar roles led to a blown ninth-inning lead and an extra-inning loss.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Several blunders, both mental and physical, eventually doomed the young Mets to an extra-inning defeat against Atlanta today.  New York failed to turn a game-ending double play in the ninth and instead coughed up a 3-1 lead.  Then a series of mistakes in the 11th sealed the Mets' fate.  It was a game full of twists and turns which assuredly left the home fans' stomachs in knots.

The  defense was often poor for both teams (Danny Muno alone had three errors at third base), but starters Jacob deGrom and Shelby Miller managed to work around this in what was a nail-biting pitcher's duel for much of the game.  deGrom's only mistake was blasted by Freddie Freeman 437 feet onto the Shea Bridge for a first inning solo home run, but the young guns masterfully matched zeroes thereafter until the Mets finally broke through in the seventh.  This is when clutch hitting by Travis d'Arnaud and Lucas Duda staked the Mets to a 3-1 lead, which they took into the ninth.

With runners on first and second and one out in the ninth, Jace Peterson sent a one-hop rocket to Wilmer Flores, who had previously saved a run with a diving stop up the middle in the seventh.  Flores didn't handle his opportunity to end the game cleanly, but still got the ball to second for a forceout.  Dilson Herrera appeared to still have a chance for a close play at first on Peterson but opted to hold the ball.  Peterson would go on to score the tying run two batters later when Met-killer Freeman laced a full-count pitch to center for a hit off of Alex Torres.  Hansel Robles had started the ninth, but neither he nor Torres were up to the task of  finishing the game with closer Jeurys Familia away from the club for the birth of his son.

In the 11th, Herrera couldn't handle a hot shot to his left, which put runners on first and second with no out.  Eric Campbell, ostensibly in as a defensive replacement, inexplicably picked up a bunt attempt that was about to roll foul, allowing the runners to advance with no one covering third.  Cameron Maybin (3-for-6, 3 RBI) then made the Mets pay with a two-run single.

New York's last gasp came when they got the first two runners on in the bottom of the 11th, but Darrell Ceciliani strayed too far off second on a John Mayberry liner and was doubled off.  This was especially tragic since Ceciliani (2-for-5) had played nicely to that point, including a perfect throw from foul ground which cut down a runner at the plate in the eighth.

Juan Lagares, who had started the only Mets scoring rally in the seventh with a pinch-hit single, ended the game with a routine ground ball to second, leaving the Mets scrambling to win the rubber game Sunday afternoon after a very winnable game passed by the boards today. New York still clings to a half game lead in first place with a 33-30 record.

The only lingering bright spots for the Amazins were deGrom's continued dominance at home (7 IP, 5 H, 1 BB, 9 Ks) and the first major league appearance for Bobby Parnell this season, who hit 93 on the gun and allowed one hit while recording the last out of the eighth.  Herrera, Duda, and Curtis Granderson all collected two hits as well.

GameThread Roll Call

Nice job by Mookie the Cat; his effort in the GameThread embiggens us all.

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1 MookieTheCat 221
2 MetsFan4Decades 176
3 LaRomaBella 175
4 Gina 115
5 danman11 95
6 The Elusive Sage 79
7 JR and the Off-Balance Shots 67
8 noahmets 65
9 Russ 47
10 The Nameless One 47