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David Peterson strikes again (and again and again) against the Braves

David Peterson threw a gem of a start, and the Mets backed him up with seven runs for a big win against the Braves.

MLB: Atlanta Braves at New York Mets
David Peterson pitched a great game against the Mets’ division rivals, the Atlanta Braves.
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets needed a win in the worst way possible. With only 9 games left in this short season, they’ve had their backs against the wall for a little while now, and the laugher of a game they lost last night didn’t help. They needed to show that they could still do it, that they weren’t out of it yet. So they sent David Peterson up to the mound tonight, and they needed him to pitch a good game and the offense to hit so they could have a chance. But the Braves were putting their rookie starter, Ian Anderson, on the mound and it wouldn’t be easy to get runs in against Anderson and his 1.64 ERA.

But the Mets rose to the challenge. The offense broke out from the very beginning, aided by Anderson’s inability to find the zone in the first inning. The first three batters, Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, and J.D. Davis, all drew walks. After Dominic Smith struck out, Robinson Cano came up to the plate and came up big, driving in two runs on single before Peterson even stepped foot on the field.

And that wasn’t where the offense ended for the Mets. In the fourth inning Robinson Chirinos drove in a run on a double, only his third extra-base hit this entire season. And in the eighth inning the offense exploded, with home runs in consecutive plate appearances by Smith and Cano. After that excitement the Mets loaded the bases and Brandon Nimmo drove in two more runs with a single. All in all, it was a good night for the Mets’ hitters.

And if it was a good night for the Mets’ hitters, then it was a great night for David Peterson. He pitched the greatest game he’s seen in the majors thus far, giving up one run in three hits and striking out ten batters. Notably, Peterson struck out MVP contender Freddie Freeman three times over the course of his six innings. His ten strikeouts makes him the only Mets pitcher other than Jacob deGrom to have a double digit strikeout game this season. He threw 102 pitches over 6 innings, nabbing himself a quality start and giving his team the best shot to win a must-win ball game.

After Peterson was done, the Mets bullpen patched together three innings with only one run given up. Miguel Castro got himself into a bit of trouble, giving up a double and two walks in a third of an inning. But the Mets brought in Justin Wilson, who induced a double play from Freddie Freeman on only his second pitch. In the eighth, Jeurys Familia gave up one run on a Travis d’Arnaud home run (predictably, d’Arnaud is becoming a Mets killer after leaving the team). Erasmo Ramirez came in to close out the game, gave up a walk and a double, but escaped the inning without letting another run cross the plate.

The Mets showed they still have some life left in them, and plenty of fight. Time is running out, but they gave themselves some breathing room with the victory tonight. And hopefully the momentum they started tonight can be carried into a series win against the Braves and into the series against the Tampa Bay Rays. It may take a miracle for them to make it into the postseason, but if any team can make miracles happen, it’s the Mets.

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What’s WPA?

Big Mets winner: Justin Wilson, +23.3% WPA
Big Mets loser: Miguel Castro, -16.7% WPA
Mets pitchers: +29.3% WPA
Mets hitters: +20.7% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Freddie Freeman grounds into a double play in the seventh, +23.3% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Adam Duvall doubles to left in the second, -11.4% WPA