The Mets played their second game in SunTrust Park, and this time, it felt more like they had played a Turner Field game.
Jay Bruce staked the Mets to an early 2-0 lead in the first when he smashed a home run to right off of R.A. Dickey. Matt Harvey gave the runs right back in the bottom of the inning when Freddie Freeman tagged him for a long home run to even the score 2-2. That was frustrating but not concerning—considering it was Freeman.
What did become concerning later on was Harvey’s inability to command his pitches. He was unable to put batters away despite the velocity being there, and when his night was over he had given up six runs and eight hits. He walked three and also hit a batter. The Braves initially took the lead off of him in the second when Ender Inciarte doubled in a run with two outs. The Mets tied it up the next inning when Asdrubal Cabrera hit his third home run of the year.
Unfortunately the fourth inning became a microcosm of Harvey’s command issues. Adonis Garcia worked a full count before singling. Harvey then hit the light hitting Kurt Suzuki with a pitch, and he followed that up with a walk to the struggling Dansby Swanson. Dickey got a run home with a ground ball and once again Inciarte came through for the Braves when he plated two runs with a single. Harvey had a two-strike count on him but was unable to get the out he needed.
Harvey’s night was done in the sixth when he was unable to work through the bottom of the Braves lineup. He left with two on and one out. Josh Edgin was the first one out of the pen and got lucky when Inciarte (again) singled but Juan Lagares threw Swanson out at the plate.
The next two out of the pen would not have the same luck. Josh Smoker and Fernando Salas have struggled mightily as of late and their struggles continued against the Braves. Smoker retired only one of the three batters he faced, and then Salas poured gasoline all over the fire and allowed three runs to score.
The rotation has failed to go deep into games, which has led to a reliance on the bullpen, and right now they are not getting it done, either.
The Braves are by no means a complete team, but little things can add up to tip the scales in your favor. The defensive show Inciarte and Nick Markakis put on in the outfield helped keep Met runners off the bases and snuff any rallies.
The Mets did attempt a comeback in the ninth, but there was no magical 10-run inning to be found. Bruce hit a grand slam to the opposite field to pull the Mets to within two, but that was as close as they would get.
And to top things off, Travis d’Arnaud had to be taken from the game with a sore wrist.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Asdrubal Cabrera +12.2%
Big losers: Matt Harvey -43.4%,
Teh aw3s0mest play: Jay Bruce home run in first
Teh sux0rest play: Freddie Freeman home run in first
Total pitcher WPA: -45.4%
Total batter WPA: -4.6%
GWRBI!: Lane Adams