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Late homers by Olson, Duvall sink Mets

The Mets led going into the bottom of the sixth, but Atlanta used the long ball to prevail.

MLB: New York Mets at Atlanta Braves Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets dropped the middle game of their series against the Braves by a 4-1 score. As a result, they saw their lead in the NL East shrink back to 1.5 games, which it was at the start of this series. If you had looked at the pitching matchups heading into this series, this is probably the game you would be most comfortable identifying as a loss, but the Mets were in a prime position to win this game, which is what makes the loss frustrating.

Spencer Strider came into this game after becoming the first pitcher in the modern era to record two straight starts with 11+ strikeouts and two or fewer hits in his rookie season, but the Mets were able to make him work and drove his pitch count up early. While they were not able to score in the first four innings, they had runners on base against him in each frame and had their chances. He was not nearly as effective as he was in those previous two starts, and he finally wore down in the fifth. Brandon Nimmo drew a walk with one out and, after Mark Canha struck out, Francisco Lindor tripled Nimmo home to break the ice and put New York on the board. That would be the only run for the Mets.

David Peterson, meanwhile, was tremendous, striking out nine over 5.1 innings, but he tired out in the sixth and relinquished the lead on the 105th pitch of the evening—a season high. After striking out Ronald Acuña to begin the inning, Peterson walked his third batter of the game as he issued the free pass to Dansby Swanson—to be fair to Peterson here, Home Plate umpire Andy Fletcher completely missed a third strike call which led to the walk and changed the trajectory of the inning. Peterson then battled with Matt Olson before the first baseman took him deep to straightaway center field, putting Atlanta in front for the first time in the series.

While Seth Lugo was able to come in and strike out the final two batters of the sixth in relief of Peterson, he was not as effective in the seventh. Travis d’Arnaud led off with a single, and Adam Duvall crushed a Lugo pitch, sending it deep into the left field stands for a two-run home run.

The Mets, meanwhile, couldn’t do much of anything against Atlanta’s bullpen. Once Strider exited the contest with two outs in the fifth, the combination of Tyler Matzek and Colin McHugh set down nine straight batters until Luis Guillorme drew a two-out walk in the eighth. In the ninth, A.J. Minter easily disposed of the bottom third of the team’s batting order to close out the game. The Mets will try to build their lead back up to 2.5 games on Wednesday afternoon in the matinee finale. Chris Bassitt will take the mound opposite Charlie Morton.

Box scores


Win Probability Added

What’s WPA?

Big Mets winner: Francisco Lindor, 7.9% WPA
Big Mets loser: Seth Lugo, -11.9% WPA
Mets pitchers: -12.9% WPA
Mets hitters: -37.1% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Francisco Lindor run-scoring triple, 14.6% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Matt Olson home run, -31.4% WPA

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