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Defense comes up clutch in Mets’ win over Braves

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Michael Conforto’s throw in the ninth inning saved the game.

Atlanta Braves v New York Mets Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images

After basically punting a game against their division rivals the previous night, the Mets desperately needed a win last night, and they pulled if off with a 2-1 victory over Atlanta.

Throughout the night the Mets tried hard to give the game away, so of course it came down to the final play of the night before fans everywhere could exhale. It started in the third when Jonathan Villar got picked off of first after singling to start the inning. Jeff McNeil eventually drove in Tylor Megill for one run, but the inning could’ve been bigger had it not been for the pickoff. They also left the bases loaded when J.D. Davis struck out to end the rally.

Megill put in another fantastic effort and pitched into the sixth inning without allowing a run. Despite the lineup turning over for the third time, Luis Rojas decided to stay with his rookie pitcher which ended up costing them when Austin Riley tied the game with a blast to center that ended Megill’s night. Despite that one mistake it was another solid outing for the righty who has acquitted himself nicely against the Braves this season. Oh and it was his birthday. Happy birthday, Tylor!

The game remained tied at one apiece until the Mets sent up Brandon Drury to pinch hit in the seventh. Drury has been on a roll as a pinch-hitter lately and he continued his hot hitting when he hit the go-ahead home run off Atlanta starter Max Fried who had been cruising against the Mets’ offense.

With another one-run lead to protect, the Mets turned to Aaron Loup, who has arguably been their best reliever this season, in the eighth. However, the normally reliable Loup was shaky and put the first two runners on. Freddie Freeman hit a grounder back to him, but he fumbled the ball a bit and had to throw to first for the out. Both runners advanced, and Rojas turned to Jeurys Familia to try and get the final two outs. Familia’s first test was the red-hot Riley but he dispatched him with relative ease using his improved sinker to strike him out. Next up was Dansby Swanson who swung at the first pitch to ground out. Crisis averted.

After the Mets didn’t score in the bottom of the inning, Edwin Díaz came in for the save. A leadoff double by Abraham Almonte immediately put the slim lead in jeopardy. Díaz induced a pop up for the first out but he clearly did not have his best stuff. Ehire Adrianza pinch-hit for Kevan Smith and singled to Michael Conforto. Conforto charged the ball and came up firing to throw home. James McCann applied a fabulous tag which induced a double “He’s out!” call from Gary Cohen and preserved the lead momentarily. Of course there was still one more out to get with a runner still on second. Pablo Sandoval battled Diaz hard to prolong the agony, but eventually he hit one to left that Kevin Pillar tracked down and caught to put an end to the madness.

It certainly wasn’t pretty, but it ended up being a thrilling victory with Jeurys Familia, Brandon Drury, and Michael Conforto all being key contributors in taking down the Braves. With the win, the team extended their lead in National League East as the clock continues to count down to the trade deadline.

-illar of the day

Neither Jonathan Villar nor Kevin Pillar had a great game, so neither.

Box scores

ESPN
MLB

Win Probability Added

Fangraphs.com

What’s WPA?

Big Mets winner: Jeurys Familia, +33.6% WPA
Big Mets loser: Aaron Loup, -22.2% WPA
Mets pitchers: 51.6% WPA
Mets hitters: -1.6% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Brandon Drury home run in seventh
Teh sux0rest play: Abraham Almonte double in ninth

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