The Mets did the one thing they really couldn’t do this weekend, which was go into Atlanta and get swept by the Braves. By losing to the Braves 5-3 tonight, the Braves’ magic number is down to one, and so the Mets would need to sweep the Nationals and the Marlins would need to sweep the Braves to see the Mets win the division.
While there is a chance that could happen, it seems remote at best.
The Mets got on the board early with a second-inning home run off the bat of Daniel Vogelbach, which put the Mets up 1-0. Unfortunately, Dansby Swanson tied the game up in the bottom of that inning with his third home run of the series.
The third inning saw the Mets look as comfortable at the plate as they have all series. Jeff McNeil led off the inning with a solo home run, regaining the lead for the Mets. Three singles in a row from Pete Alonso, Eduardo Escobar, and Vogelbach put the Mets up 3-1. Unfortunately, with men on first and third and no one out, the Mets couldn’t deliver another run against Charlie Morton. Austin Riley let a slow grounder off the bat of Mark Canha to go foul which, if you believe ESPN’s booth, was the game changer in the game. It wasn’t, but it was a lucky break for the Braves.
Bassitt’s bottom of the third was a hard-working one, giving up a single to Orlando Arcia to lead off the inning, a walk to Ronald Acuña Jr, and hitting Riley on the left elbow to load the bases for Matt Olson. Bassitt walked him on five pitches, bringing in the second Atlanta run.
As has so often been the case for Bassitt, the out pitch seemed to be elusive at times tonight. Bassitt started out former Met Travis d’Arnaud 0-2, but couldn’t find an out pitch. d’Arnaud hit the ball back up the middle, scoring 2, and putting the Mets down 4-3. That would be it for Bassitt, who threw 70 pitches over two and two-thirds innings.
Trevor May was first out of the Mets’ bullpen, and pitched an inning and a third of impressive relief, keeping the Braves at bay. Escobar hit a one-out single in the top of the fifth, which chased Morton from the game. A pinch-hitting Francisco Álvarez struck out on ball four against reliever Dylan Lee, and a squibber off of Canha’s bat ended the threat.
After an impressive inning from Seth Lugo in the bottom of the fifth, Lugo let up an absolute bomb to Matt Olson in the bottom of the sixth, putting the Braves up 5-3.
Drew Smith and Joely Rodriguez made things interesting in the seventh inning, but kept the game close, not allowing any additional damage.
In the top of the eighth, Canha hit a ball to the right of first baseman Olson, which was bobbled by Acuña, but Canha had given up on it and almost got thrown out diving back into first. A strikeout to pinch hitter Mark Vientos (in which he continued to look absolutely overwhelmed by big league pitching) and a double play grounder off the bat of pinch hitter Tomás Nido finished off that threat with the most pathetic of whimpers possible.
Edwin Díaz came in with one out in the eighth and looked utterly dominant, so at least that’s still a thing?
The Mets had the top of their lineup in place for the top of the ninth inning, but a ground out from Brandon Nimmo started things off on a disappointing note. Francisco Lindor, who has looked rough all series, but especially tonight, weakly grounded out to first, and the Mets were down to their final out. Jeff McNeil sent one for a ride to right field, but the ride ended in Acuña’s mitt for the final out.
As if the game itself wasn’t painful enough, the ESPN broadcast (and Fox last night) tacitly approving of the Tomahawk Chop was irresponsible and offensive. Fuck that racist noise. Be better, Atlanta.
Corey Abbot will go for the Nationals at Citi Field tomorrow. Let’s see if Carlos Carrasco can bring a better performance than he has as of late for his final regular season start of the season.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
[FANGRAPHS WPA IMAGE]
Big winner: Daniel Vogelbach, +21.4% WPA
Big loser: Chris Bassitt, -34.6% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: -24.0% WPA
Total batter WPA: -24.8% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Jeff McNeil’s solo home run, +11.2% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Travis d’Arnaud’s 2-run single, -20.4% WPA