It is perhaps fitting that the Mets’ season finale looked like so many other games of the 2021 season; the offense simply looked lifeless in the Mets’ 5-0 loss to the Braves in Atlanta. Charlie Morton pitched just 2 2⁄3 innings for the Braves, as he was simply using this game as a throwing session to prep for the postseason—an experience the Mets are missing out on yet again. Over that span, Morton gave up just one hit—a leadoff single to José Peraza in the third inning. In fact, Peraza was the only Met to reach second base the entire game with his first stolen base of the season. The Mets’ two other hits in the game—a single from Jonathan Villar in the fifth and a single from Michael Conforto in the seventh—were promptly erased by double plays.
Meanwhile, the Braves scored early and often and gave themselves all the cushion they would need to cruise their way to an easy victory. Noah Syndergaard was greeted rudely in his second appearance of the 2021 season by a leadoff homer by Jorge Soler in the bottom of the first. Then with one out, Ozzie Albies smoked a ground rule double down the left field line. That was followed by an Austin Riley single, on which Albies tried to score. He would have been thrown out by a mile on a good throw, but Dominic Smith unleashed a poor throw and Albies slid home safely. Riley tried to advance to second on the throw home and was initially called safe, but replay review revealed that he was out, which kept the inning from completely ballooning on Syndergaard and helped keep the Braves to just the two runs. However, it was definitely not the result that Syndergaard probably hoped for to finish out his brief 2021 return as he heads into an uncertain offseason.
Trevor Williams replaced Syndergaard in long relief and tossed a 1-2-3 second inning, but things unraveled for him in the third. But, to be fair to Williams, he was not assisted by his defense. With one out, Williams walked Soler and then a bloop single off the bat of Freddie Freeman advanced Soler to third base. Albies then hit a grounder to first that had the potential to be an inning-ending double play, but Pete Alonso bobbled the ball as he fielded it and was therefore unable to act quickly, only retiring Albies at first as another run scored to put the Braves up 3-0. Williams then poured gasoline on the fire by allowing two clean hits—an Austin Riley double and an Adam Duvall single—to drive in two more runs and give the Braves a comfortable 5-0 lead.
Williams did settle down to pitch three scoreless innings after that, soaking up five innings in total, but it was clear the Mets did not have a comeback in them on this day. Five Braves relievers combined for 6 1⁄3 scoreless innings in relief of Morton, giving up just two hits and striking out three as a group. Heath Hembree pitched a scoreless seventh inning for the Mets and Robert Gsellman tossed a 1-2-3 eighth in his second appearance since returning from the injured list.
The Mets finish the 2021 season 77-85 and third place in the NL East after having held first place in the division for 103 days.
*illar of the game
Jonathan Villar was responsible for one of the Mets’ three hits today, so he gets the honor in Game 162.
Win Probability Added
Big Mets winner: José Peraza, +0.9% WPA
Big Mets loser: Noah Syndergaard, -14.5% WPA
Mets pitchers: -23.4% WPA
Mets hitters: -26.6% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: José Peraza’s leadoff single in the third, +4.0% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Jorge Soler’s solo homer off Noah Syndergaard in the first inning, -9.5% WPA