In typical Mets fashion, a game that should’ve been a laugher was quickly turned into a nail-biter as the Braves scored five runs on four home runs over the final two innings in their 10-8 victory over Atlanta.
Coming out of the gate, the Mets had little trouble putting the screws to a pitcher that had dominated them for so long in Julio Teheran. Amed Rosario doubled to start the game and Joe Panik quickly followed with a single to put two men in scoring position for Pete Alonso. For Alonso, the real runner in scoring position was standing at home plate as he replicated his April homer by dunking Teheran’s second pitch of the at bat into the fountain in center field. This home run from Alonso is especially noteworthy as it was his 39th of the season, tying him with Cody Bellinger for the all time National League rookie home run record. The Mets would threaten again later in the inning as Michael Conforto and J.D. Davis were on first and second base for Todd Frazier, but the Toms River native lined into a double play to end the inning.
As the Braves came to the plate, they did just about all they could to try and even this game as quickly as possible. After Ronald Acuna Jr. struck out and Ozzie Albies lined out, Freddie Freeman and Josh Donaldson drew a pair of walks followed by a Brain McCann single. With the bases loaded, it took Marcus Stroman six pitches to strike out Ender Inciarte and escape the precarious situation unscathed.
While the Braves were unsuccessful in their pursuit of the almighty run, the Mets had no issue getting back on the board in their half of the second inning. Juan Lagares led off the inning with a strikeout, but Marcus Stroman recorded his first hit as a Met as the SNY feet cut out and quickly scored his first run as a Met after Amed Rosario tripled to bring him home. Teheran’s meltdown really hit its stride as he walked Joe Panik, Pete Alonso, and Michael Conforto on 13 pitches, the last of which brought home the Mets’ fifth run of the night. With the bases loaded, Wilson Ramos sent a single to left field to bring home the Mets’ third run of the inning and the sixth of the game. As Josh Tomlin entered the game, he got J.D. Davis to ground into a double play to end the Mets’ rally at three runs.
While the Braves came and went with nothing more than a single fly ball in the bottom of the second, Todd Frazier brought home the Mets’ seventh run on a fly ball that didn’t stop carrying until it ended up over the wall in left field. It looked as if the Mets may string something together after Lagares singled and Stroman bunted him over, but a strikeout and a popup ended those dreams before they had a chance to blossom. Much like the first inning, the Braves did their best to try and match the Mets’ output.
In the Braves’ half of the inning, Ozzie Albies reaching on an error was sandwiched between walks to Acuna and Freeman to load the bases for Donaldson. Fortunately, Stroman was able to coax a grounder from Donaldson to nab Freeman at second on a fielder’s choice. Two pitches later, another ground ball, this time off the bat of Brian McCann, was turned into a double play to end the threat and the inning.
In the fourth inning, the Mets produced a pair of singles against Tomlin but ultimately wouldn’t get on the board. For the Braves, they only notched one hit in the inning, but it came in the form of a Matt Joyce home run to make it a 7-2 game in favor of the Mets.
Keeping with their theme of singles from the previous inning, Juan Lagares and Amed Rosario smacked a pair of singles to put two men on with one out. While Joe Panik would ground out, Pete Alonso sent a ball up the middle to bring a pair of runs home and give the Mets a 9-2 advantage. In their next time up, the only event worth remembering actually came on an out. As Davis sent a ball high and deep to the wall in right field, Acuna reached over the wall, hit the ground and displayed the ball that he had just yanked back from over the wall.
To start the top of the sixth, a homer may have been robbed, but the Mets weren’t so lucky when it came to their outfield defense. Leading off, Josh Donaldson swatted his 27th homer of the year to bring the Braves within six runs. After retiring Brian McCann, Marcus Stroman’s afternoon was done as he finished his 5.1 innings of work allowing two earned runs on four hits while walking four more and striking out five. While it wasn’t a start to write home about, it was still good enough to put the first Mets W next to his name in the box score. Luis Avilan entered the game and retired two of the three men he faced to end his night and the inning.
Amed Rosario and Pete Alonso were back at it in the seventh as Rosario led the inning off with a double and Alonso brought him home two batters later against old friend Anthony Swarzak to give the Mets their 10th run of the night. In the bottom of the inning Brad Brach stepped in and struck out two of the three batters that he faced on his way to a perfect seventh inning.
The Mets came and went without a run in the eighth and the ninth, but Amed Rosario and Pete Alonso did manage to become the first teammates in Mets’ history to each have five hits in one game, which is pretty cool!
Things were not all sunshine and rainbows as the Braves were introduced to Drew Gagnon and scored the first of many runs against him on Freddie Freeman’s 30th homer of the year in the eighth. To start the ninth inning, Rafael Ortega singled and two batters later Ronald Acuna Jr. sent a ball to left that not even he could catch to make it a 10-6 ballgame. Gagnon did get Albies to pop out, but Freddie Freeman asserted his dominance over the Mets again with another homer to make it a 10-7 contest. One mound visit later, Josh Donaldson sent the Braves’ third homer of the inning over the wall to bring them within two runs.
As the game officially reached DEFCON 1, Mickey Callaway called upon Edwin Diaz to get the last out. It didn’t start on the right foot as Brian McCann walked on four pitches to bring up Ender Inicarte as the tying run. Living up to his name, Ender acted as the game ender on a strikeout to close the book on a stressful 10-8 victory for the Amazin’s.
The Mets sneak out of Atlanta with a win and start a brand new series in Kansas City tomorrow night as Noah Syndergaard takes on Mike Montgomery and the Royals at 8:10 EDT.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Pete Alonso +20.1% WPA, Amed Rosario +15.3% WPA
Big losers: None!
Total pitcher WPA: +7.9% WPA
Total batter WPA: +42.1% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Pete Alonso’s first inning home run, +14.4% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Todd Frazier’s first inning double play, -5.2% WPA