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Mets make a laugher interesting, hold on to win

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The Mets took an 8-0 lead but had to hold on to a slim lead in the end.

New York Mets v Atlanta Braves Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Mets snapped a losing streak against the Braves and won their third game out of their last four as they jumped out to an early lead and held on to it at Turner Field on Friday night.

New York did all of its scoring before Atlanta got on the board, as a Wilmer Flores ground rule double that plated one run got things started in the second. Travis d’Arnaud drove in another run in that inning on a ground out, and in the fourth, he drove in two more with a single to right field. Steven Matz hit a sac fly later in the fourth, which gave the Mets a 5-0 lead, and James Loney hit a three-run home run in the fifth to make the game a real laugher at 8-0.

But it wasn’t a laugher for long. Matz had cruised through the first four innings, despite not having struck out any Braves hitters. He did not cruise through the bottom of the fifth inning. In that inning, he gave up six runs on seven hits, including three doubles and a home run. The second double was a routine fly ball that Yoenis Cespedes never saw off the bat and wasn’t anywhere near when it fell, so that one wasn’t Matz’s fault. But he served up batting practice in that inning otherwise, and Terry Collins finally pulled him when the sixth run scored and the Braves still had runners on first and second with one out.

In came Hansel Robles, who set down the first two hitters he faced with ease. He stayed in the game for two more innings after that and was perfect, striking out two in the process. That makes two outstanding multiple-inning relief appearances for Robles this week.

Antonio Bastardo was called upon to start the bottom of the eighth, and he got two outs before allowing a hit that prompted Collins to turn to Jeurys Familia. He got out of that inning unscathed, and he pitched a wacky—but scoreless—ninth inning that saw two strange plays involving baseball players from the d’Arnaud family.

With runners on first and second and nobody out, Chase d’Arnaud was asked to bunt for the Braves. He popped a bunt up to third base, and Wilmer Flores made an effort to catch it but failed. The Braves’ runners, however, hadn’t gone anywhere, so Flores stepped on third and threw to second for a very non-traditional double play. And Familia then struck out Jace Peterson, but the ball got past Travis d’Arnaud in the process, and his throw to first base to complete the strikeout forced James Loney to contort his body and drag his foot across the bag to record the out. He somehow did, and the Mets won.

To top off all of that, Yoenis Cespedes looked destined to leave the game after turning his left ankle—and getting picked off as he fell in the process—in the top of the seventh. But he took his position in center field in the bottom of that inning and never came out of the game.

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Win Probability Added

Fangraphs
(What's WPA?)

Big winners: Hansel Robles, +26.7% WPA, James Loney, +16.6% WPA, Jeurys Familia, +13.0% WPA, Wilmer Flores, +12.5% WPA
Big losers: Steven Matz, -14.1% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Chase d'Arnaud bunts into a double play in the ninth, +26.9% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Jeurys Familia hits Erick Aybar with a pitch to puts runners on first and second with nobody out in the ninth, -14.1% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +28.9% WPA
Total batter WPA: +21.1% WPA
GWRBI!: James Loney