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In a must-win game, Mets lose by 13

At least nobody had to pay admission for this.

Atlanta Braves v New York Mets Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

With the Mets needing to win basically every game from here on out to stay in the race, the team started their final series of the year against the division-leading Braves by losing 15-2. For the third night in a row, their starter didn’t get out of the third inning. The offense only mustered five hits all night. They allowed six home runs. The most effective pitcher they sent to the mound was Todd Frazier. This is not how you stay in the race.

Steven Matz was set to make his first start since August 15 and his first appearance since August 29. Matz ran into trouble early, giving up four straight hits to start the game, though he was fortunate enough to get an out on the bases. He allowed another walk, but he escaped the inning only allowing one run and leaving the bases loaded.

Matz was not so fortunate in the second, though. A Freddie Freeman double scored two. A Marcell Ozuna homer scored two more. It was 5-0 at that point. In the third, Austin Riley added one more with a solo homer of his own. Matz was pulled after just 2.2 innings pitched, allowing six runs on eight hits and three walks. He somehow also struck out five.

Franklin Kilome entered and escaped the third inning, but allowed six runs of his own in the fourth. Travis d’Arnaud and Ozzie Albies both hit two-run homers. Nick Markakis added a two-RBI double. It was 12-0, and the game was well over already.

It doesn’t really matter what the Mets did on offense from there, but it makes my job easier to just say they didn’t bother showing up anyway. They managed just five total hits and pushed across two garbage time runs against the Braves’ bullpen. Amed Rosario notched three more hits, interestingly enough. His season stat line is steadily improving. J.D. Davis walked four times.

Jared Hughes ate most of this game out of the bullpen, pitching a career high 3.1 innings out of the bullpen. He gave up three more runs in the process, including home runs to Ronald Acuna and Albies. It’s probably his last appearance for a while.

Frazier took the mound in the ninth and provided the only part of the game worth watching. He tossed a 1-2-3 ninth, the first Mets pitcher to do that all game. He threw some 55 MPH knuckleballs, and struck out Adam Duvall with a legitimately good knuckleball. He left with a fist bump and a smile, a small reason to smile during a bad game in a horrible season in a brutal year.

Meanwhile, the Phillies won two games, the Cardinals won two games, the Brewers won, and the Reds won their sixth straight. The Mets’ slim hopes at the 8th seed are quickly evaporating.

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Win Probability Added

What’s WPA?

Big Mets winner: J.D. Davis, +3.4% WPA
Big Mets loser: Steven Matz, -36.5% WPA
Mets pitchers: -39.8% WPA
Mets hitters: -10.2%WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Amed Rosario hits an RBI single in the sixth inning, +0.0 WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Freddie Freeman hits a two-run double in the second inning, -15.8% WPA