This was quite a roller coaster of a game, but eventually the Mets hit the down slope and kept right on hurtling down the track for an 8-2 loss.
In the first few innings it seemed like more of the same with the offense. Mike Foltynewicz looked untouchable for Atlanta, and when Ender Inciarte gave the Braves a 1-0 lead in the fourth, it seemed like there was a real possibility that would be the final score.
However, Foltynewicz was lifted after five innings with an injury, which gave the Mets a chance. Todd Frazier walked with one out in the sixth, and Brandon Nimmo got hit by a pitch, but was called back when the umpire ruled he made no attempt to get out of the way. Mickey Callaway lost his cool and was tossed from the game. Nimmo walked on the next pitch anyway, and the Mets were in business. Asdrubal Cabrera was up next and hit a ground ball that looked like a double play ball, but Dansby Swanson bobbled it and everyone was safe.
Jay Bruce was in desperate need of a big hit and he finally delivered with a ground rule double to bring home two runs. Then just when it seemed like finally they were on the upswing it went downhill and went downhill quickly. Cabrera, who was pulled from Sunday’s game with hamstring tightness and still looks hobbled, did not slide back to the bag on a ball hit by Devin Mesoraco down the line. He was tagged out and a double play was turned.
On to the bottom of the sixth when everything that could go wrong did go wrong. The lead evaporated on the first pitch of the inning when Freddie Freeman took Wheeler deep. Wheeler had been pitching well up to that point but ran out of steam and it turned ugly. Nick Markakis followed the home run with a single but Tyler Flowers hit into a double play behind him. Unfortunately the Braves challenged the out call at first and the play was overturned. Johan Camargo then singled but Flowers was thrown out attempting to run to third on the play.
That brought up Inciarte who yet again hit a little bloop single to give the Braves a 3-2 lead. Wheeler was clearly on fumes but with Callaway out of the game the coaching staff looked a little confused as to what to do with Wheeler. They let him face Charlie Culbertson but the Mets had a chance to escape the inning with Culbertson batting when Inciarte tried to steal second. Mesoraco’s throw was in time but Cabrera, who again is far from 100%, dropped the ball. Culbertson walked and then pinch-hitter Preston Tucker walked behind him to load the bases.
The coaching staff finally lifted Wheeler to bring in Paul Sewald but a manageable 3-2 deficit became a 7-2 blowout when Ozzie Albies hit a grand slam to put the game out of reach. The Braves added on another run against Sewald in the seventh to make it 8-2.
Meanwhile the Mets only managed three hits, so while the pitching was less than ideal the offense again failed to generate much other than the one inning where a defensive lapse helped them. Dominic Smith did have a hit and made a nice play at first in his first game back in the majors but other than that the positives are few and far between with this team.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Jay Bruce +19.8%
Big losers: Zack Wheeler -23.6%, Paul Sewald -21.6%, Devin Mesoraco -13.1%
Teh aw3s0mest play: Jay Bruce double in sixth
Teh sux0rest play: Ozzie Albies home run in sixth
Total pitcher WPA: -45.1%
Total batter WPA: -4.9%
GWRBI!: Ender Inciarte