The Mets are beating themselves.
Given the opportunity to bounce back from three awful losses in Milwaukee, the Mets instead began their four-game series in Atlanta with another one. After Jacob deGrom put together seven brilliant innings, during which he escaped two major jams in unbelievably impressive fashion and gave up one run, the team coughed up one-run leads in the eighth and the ninth. The latter included a two-run walk-off home run by Charlie Culberson, who’s only hit a handful of home runs at all in his major league career.
At some point, preferably in the very near future, it would behoove the Mets to capitalize on opportunities to blow games open in the early going. Right off the bat, the team had a chance to capitalize on a mistake by the Braves, as Dansby Swanson booted an easy double play ball to put runners on first and second in the top of the first. But Michael Conforto struck out before Jose Bautista walked to load the bases, Jay Bruce struck out, Devin Mesoraco walked to plate the only run of the inning, and Luis Guillorme grounded out to end the inning.
Guillorme went on to drive in a run with a double over the left fielder’s head in the fourth, which gave the Mets a 2-0 lead. And with the way that deGrom was pitching—even though he had to deal with a nonsensical half-hour rain delay—that seemed like it might just be enough. But deGrom gave up his lone run in the seventh before Seth Lugo gave up the first of his runs in the eighth. Devin Mesoraco went deep with a solo home run in the top of the ninth, which should have been enough for the Mets to hang out and win the game.
With Jeurys Familia available in the bullpen, though, Mickey Callaway stuck with Lugo, who had labored to get through the eighth and already given up one lead—all in an effort to preserve the rest of the bullpen for a night game that wasn’t guaranteed to happen at the time. Lugo walked the leadoff man, got one out, and then served up that walk-off home run to give the Mets a brutal loss.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Devin Mesoraco, +45.1% WPA, Jacob deGrom, +33.5% WPA
BIG losers: Seth Lugo, -98.7% WPA
Big losers: Michael Conforto, -16.5% WPA, Jay Bruce, -12.5% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Devin Mesoraco’s go-ahead home run in the ninth, +33.5% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Charlie Culberson’s walk-off home run in the ninth, -78.7% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: -65.2% WPA
Total batter WPA: +15.2% WPA
GWRBI!: Charlie Culberson