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Braves crush Mets 14-1 to take season opening series

The Mets surrendered 17 hits in a game that quickly turned into a laugher.

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

The Braves got off to a quick start against new Met Rick Porcello in the top of the first inning last night at Citi Field. After an Ozzie Albies double and a Freddie Freeman walk, Matt Adams and Dansby Swanson each dropped a soft RBI single into center to plate the Braves to an early 2-0 lead.

Meanwhile, the Mets let Sean Newcomb off the hook a bit over the first two innings, as the young lefty was clearly struggling with his control. Leadoff hitter Amed Rosario grounded out on what looked like ball four, after which Newcomb plunked both Jeff McNeil and Pete Alonso. The struggling pitcher than went 3-0 to Yoenis Cespedes, who seemed to swing at a couple of possible ball four offerings in the course of striking out.

Porcello pitched around trouble himself in the top of the second, getting out of trouble thanks to a double play ball. Newcomb’s wildness actually yielded a run in the bottom of the frame when Tomas Nido walked, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on a Brandon Nimmo RBI double to left, allowing the Mets to cut the lead to 2-1.

The game would remain that close for exactly four more batters, and would quickly escalate from a potential back-and-forth affair into a blowout. The top of the third started with a Jeff McNeil error as he bobbled an Ozzie Albies dribbler into the shift. Two walks and two doubles later, the Braves were leading 5-1, Porcello was out of the game and purported Tuesday starter Corey Oswalt was in to try to stop the bleeding. He could not.

Oswalt promptly walked Austin Riley and surrendered a two-run double to Ender Inciarte, extending the Braves lead to 7-1. Newcomb pitched around a jam in the bottom of the third, and then a Dansby Swanson two-run home run in the top of the fourth removed any sliver of a doubt that might have been remaining about the possible outcome of the game.

From there, the Braves continued to pour it on, adding runs in the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings against both Oswalt and Paul Sewald, who sustained damage as they mopped up innings. Most notable of these was a 458 ft. blast from Austin Riley off of Oswalt that tied Pete Alonso for the fifth longest in Citi Field history. Meanwhile, the Mets went to the bench early and often, presumably giving some regulars a little extra time to prepare for their late night bus ride up to Boston for a two game set with the Red Sox in Fenway.

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Box scores

Win Probability Added

What’s WPA?

Big Mets winner: Brandon Nimmo, 11.3% WPA
Big Mets loser: Rick Porcello, -43.3% WPA
Mets pitchers: -47.6% WPA
Mets hitters: -2.4% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Brandon Nimmo RBI double in the second, 10.7% WPA.
Teh sux0rest play: Marcell Ozuna two-run double in the third, -12.3% WPA.