The Mets beat the Braves in Atlanta last night with relative ease, something that hasn’t been the case very often in the history of Turner Field. Matt Harvey wasn’t great, but he was better than he had been in his first three starts, and Curtis Granderson hit a grand slam and a solo home run in the victory.
Harvey gave up two runs on seven hits in five innings. He struck out five, walked one, and threw 101 pitches in the process. He made Braves hitters swing and miss on 12 of those pitches, which isn’t where you’d expect him to be against a lineup like the one the Braves trotted out last night but isn’t terrible.
The first of Granderson’s home runs was the grand slam, which he hit in the top of the second. Braves starter helped set the table for that one, as he walked Asdrubal Cabrera and Travis d’Arnaud with one out in the inning. When Matt Harvey tried to put down a sacrifice bunt, he did so poorly, as the ball went back toward the mound. Norris fielded it and had a play at third—and likely a 1-5-3 double play in total—but he made a bad throw and didn’t get any outs on the play. Then Granderson came up and hit a no-doubt home run to right field to give the Mets a four-run lead.
Harvey struggled most in the bottom of that inning. He gave up the first of his two runs on three straight singles to start the inning, and after he got an out, he gave up the second run on a double by Mallex Smith. But buntin’ Bud Norris was at it again, as he dropped a bunt straight back to Harvey with one out and runners on second and third. Harvey did not botch the play, and he threw out Norris at first. And then Harvey struck out Nick Markakis looking for one of those five strikeouts.
Granderson’s second home run was a two-out solo shot in the fourth inning, and it looked nearly identical to his grand slam. Harvey worked his way through the third, fourth, and fifth innings, though he got bailed out by an incredible play by Yoenis Cespedes to throw out Nick Markakis at the plate to end the inning.
Cespedes was also involved in the Mets’ sixth and final run of the game. David Wright, who hadn’t been on base yet in the game, doubled to deep right field. And after Michael Conforto was retired on a ball that he drilled to center field, Cespedes crushed a double to left field. The only downside there was that he aggravated his bruised leg when he slid into second base on the play. He stayed in the game until it went into a rain delay, at which point he was replaced by Juan Lagares.
The Mets’ bullpen was mostly good in the game. Antonio Bastardo pitched a scoreless sixth and then was asked to pitch another inning, even though he had thrown two innings on Wednesday. Two-inning outings haven’t been completely foreign to Bastardo over the past couple of years, but it’s odd that he made them in back-to-back games, even with the day off.
The last batter Bastardo faced was Freddie Freeman, who was previously hitless against him in 19 at-bats. But he got a hit last night to put runners on first and second with two outs in the seventh. Terry Collins brought in Jim Henderson, who gave up a single to the only batter he faced to make it a 6-3 game. And then Collins brought in Jerry Blevins, who struck out A.J. Pierzynski to end the inning.
The game went into a fairly long rain delay in the middle of the eighth inning, but when it resumed, Addison Reed threw a scoreless eighth, and Jeurys Familia threw a scoreless ninth to wrap up the win.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Curtis Granderosn, +36.2% WPA
Big losers: none
Teh aw3s0mest play: Curtis Granderson hits a grand slam in the second, +24.4% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Mallex Smith doubles in the Braves’ second run in the second, -12.5% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +21.2% WPA
Total batter WPA: +28.8% WPA
GWRBI!: Curtis Granderson