Usually, one has to show up early at the ballpark to catch batting practice, but that was not the case at Citi Field on Sunday. Batting practice was extended by about three hours, as the Braves and Mets dented the baseball for nine innings.
The combined stat lines of Mike Foltynewicz and Dillon Gee for the game are more gruesome than the last act of Titus Andronicus, as they combined to allow twenty hits and fourteen runs between them. Both team’s battered bullpens were in the game before the end of the fifth inning. Ultimately, the Mets came out on top, but it certainly looked much bleaker than that early on for the Amazins.
It started off slowly enough, as both the Mets and the Braves scored one run in the first inning. The Braves’ run was, unsurprisingly, driven in by Freddie Freeman. Curtis Granderson scored for the Mets on a passed ball, and the second inning came around with the score tied. Simultaneously, that’s when the merry-go-round opened for business.
The Braves bloodied the baseball more significantly at first. Jace Peterson hit the first three-run homer of the day off of Gee in the second to make the score 4-1. The following inning, Kelly Johnson singled to drive in Christian Bethancourt. In the fourth, the Braves scored three more runs, all of which were charged to Dillon Gee, who was knocked out before the inning was over.
Normally, an offensive performance like this by an opposing team would spell trouble for these 2015 Mets. However, Foltynewicz was more than happy to let the Mets stay in the game. Wilmer Flores singled to drive in two runs in the third, which made the score 5-3. Then, in the bottom of the fourth, Darrell Ceciliani and Dilson Herrera both homered to make the score 8-5. (Ceciliani’s homer was also his first in the majors.)
After Alex Torres came into get the final out of the fourth, Sean Gilmartin entered the game and threw the first clean innings Mets pitching had had all day, setting the Braves down without any excitement in the fifth and sixth.
On the offensive side of things, the Amazins were far from finished. Lucas Duda led off the top of the fifth with a single to left that knocked Foltynewicz out of the game in favor of Brandon Cunniff, who this season had held righties to a .054 average. Apparently, someone forgot to tell Travis d’Arnaud this, as the Mets catcher hit a two-run shot to left that brought the Mets within a run of the Braves. With the score at 8-7 going into the sixth, pinch-hitter Michael Cuddyer and Curtis Granderson led off the inning with consecutive singles to put two men on for Juan Lagares, who lunged at a hanging curveball and put it in the left-field seats to, miraculously, give the Mets a 10-8 lead.
That was all the Mets would need, as Bobby Parnell and Hansel Robles came on in relief of Gilmartin and continued to keep the Braves off the board. Not wanting to take any chances in the eighth though, Terry brought in Jeurys Familia to face Freddie Freeman with a runner on and two outs. The Mets killer hit a hard groundball up the middle, but Dilson Herrera made an unbelievable diving stop and glove toss to Wilmer Flores to get out of the inning. Familia returned in the next inning and pitched a scoreless ninth to give the Mets a slightly bizarre, but well-earned victory.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Juan Lagares, +33.3% WPA; Curtis Granderson, +22.7 WPA; Travis d'Arnaud, +18.9% WPA
Big losers: Dillon Gee, -56.1% WPA; Ruben Tejada, -5.0% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Juan Lagares homer, bottom of the sixth
Teh sux0rest play: Jace Peterson homer, top of the second
Total pitcher WPA: -35.1% WPA
Total batter WPA: +85.1% WPA
GWRBI!: Juan Lagares homer, bottom of the sixth