The Mets won the second game of their doubleheader against the Braves, 8-1. The Mets, despite being tired by nature of playing two games today, looked absolutely rejuvenated this evening, cruising to an easy win on the back of a great pitching performance, and all under three hours to boot.
Steven Matz returned from the disabled list for his first start since August or 2016, and looked like he had barely missed a beat. While his strikeouts were down, Matz was efficient with his pitches, throwing 98 over seven innings. He scattered five hits and one walk, only giving up a run with two outs in the seventh, courtesy of Friday night’s villain, Dansby Swanson. Swanson doubled and scored in the seventh, but Matz was able to work his way out of the jam with minimal damage.
The Mets fared better against Braves starter Matt Wisler, who shut out the Mets over the first four innings of play. Jay Bruce broke up the shutout in the fifth inning with a towering three-run home run, scoring Michael Conforto and Jose Reyes. The next inning was led off by a Wilmer Flores triple, and he scored on a sacrifice fly by Travis d’Arnaud. Flores, who has been on a nice hot streak, collected four hits in the nightcap: two doubles, a triple, and an infield single.
In the top of the eighth inning, T.J. Rivera blasted a home run to left field to put the Mets up 6-1. He was rewarded for the homer with a demotion to Triple-A Las Vegas, which was necessary due to Yoenis Cespedes’s returning to the 25-man roster, after being the 26th man for yesterday’s doubleheader. The ninth inning continued the offensive explosion, with Juan Lagares ripping a two-run double down the left field line, plating two more insurance runs.
Neil Ramirez and Tyler Pill combined for two scoreless innings at the end of the game, closing the book on the doubleheader. Pill, too, was sent down to Triple-A after the game. The Mets, over 18 innings, limited the Braves to just two runs and scored 14 of their own. This, in many ways, is what the season was supposed to be like: dominant starting pitching, above-average offense, and a bullpen that wasn’t a dumpster fire.
Today, the Mets get their third returning piece of the weekend, starter Seth Lugo, who will take Tyler Pill’s spot on the roster, facing off against the veteran Jaime Garcia at 1:35 at Suntrust Stadium.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Steven Matz, +30.2% WPA, Jay Bruce, +25.6% WPA
Big losers: Lucas Duda, -8.6% WPA, Travis d’Arnaud, -6.0% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Jay Bruce’s three-run home run, +30.8% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Lucas Duda lines out in the first, -4.2% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +31.8% WPA
Total batter WPA: +18.2 % WPA
GWRBI!: Jay Bruce