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Braves get to Syndergaard early, comeback falls short

Syndergaard is still winless against Atlanta.

MLB: Atlanta Braves at New York Mets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The 3-2 final score feels a bit misleading since it seemed like the Braves were all over anything Noah Syndergaard threw. He gave up ten hits in six innings but the four hits he gave up in the first inning did the most damage.

Mets-Pirates 6-28

Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuna Jr. both got on ahead of Freddie Freeman, and Freeman did what Freeman does best and brought them both home with a double. Nick Markakis followed with a single and the Mets were down 3-0 before an out was recorded. Syndergaard managed to stop the bleeding but the damage had already been done. Especially since Mike Soroka was making his major league debut on the mound for Atlanta.

The numbers might tell a different story but it seems like the Mets always struggle against pitchers making their debut. Even in the last five years they have somehow managed to win some games against those making their debut, but I still refuse to believe it and I will point to games like this as my evidence. Soroka pitched six innings, allowed six hits, and struck out five.

The offense did manage six hits against him, but the bottom half of this lineup is beyond offensively challenged at this point. Adrian Gonzalez left Petco Park and morphed back into 2018 Adrian Gonzalez and not 2010 Adrian Gonzalez. When they got their first rally going in the fourth Gonzalez grounded into a double play to end the inning.

That was pretty much it for the offense until Yoenis Cespedes took Soroka deep in the sixth for his seventh home run of the year. There was alot of concern surrounding the slugger when he left Sunday’s game with an injured thumb, but he appeared to be just fine in this game. He went 3-for-4 at the plate and if that wasn’t enough to alleviate concern his play in the field also looked fantastic. Kurt Suzuki became the latest in a long line of runners to find out you do not run on Cespedes. Suzuki was definitively gunned down at the plate by Cespedes in the seventh to keep the score 3-1.

Seth Lugo kept the Braves off the board in the eighth and ninth so it was up to the bottom of the lineup to comeback against Atlanta’s closer. Todd Frazier led off with a single but when Adrian Gonzalez popped up the Braves defense let the ball drop between four fielders. Amed Rosario had a terrible at bat when called upon to bunt but he struck out on three pitches. Then with Wilmer Flores batting, a wild pitch sent the runners to second and third. Flores grounded out but that cut the lead to 3-2 with the tying run on second base. Since Brandon Nimmo had already pinch hit earlier in the game and Juan Lagares was inserted as a pinch runner, that left the game in the hands of Jose Reyes who promptly flew out to end the game.

With so many hitters struggling right now and runs at a premium, the Mets need to seriously consider what players give them the best opportunity to win every night. The entire lineup after Frazier does not inspire much confidence and a game just cannot come down to Jose Reyes at this point. This game could have been much worse but at the same time this is not how you want to start a series against a division rival.

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Win Probability Added

What’s WPA?

Big winners: Todd Frazier +16.7%
Big losers: Amed Rosario -22.3%, Wilmer Flores -14%, Jose Reyes -13.8%, Noah Syndergaard -12.1%, Michael Conforto -11.5%
Teh aw3s0mest play: Adrian Gonzalez single in ninth
Teh sux0rest play: Ronald Acuna Jr double in first
Total pitcher WPA: -4.9%
Total batter WPA: -45.1%
GWRBI!: Nick Markakis