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Mets lose battle of the bats and suffer Atlanta sweep

The Mets got beat in extras by Atlanta to suffer their second sweep in as many series.

New York Mets v Atlanta Braves Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Coming into Thursday night, the Mets were in a precarious position. They already lost the series, looking to avoid the sweep. Several players were slumping, they were in third place, 7.5 games out of first which was occupied by their opponent, the Atlanta Braves. But they were facing Spencer Strider, a pitcher whose number the Mets have had through his relatively short career, and Justin Verlander was taking the mound for the Mets, following a great start against the Blue Jays where he only gave up one run in six innings.

To start the game, both teams came out swinging. The Braves logged three runs in the first off Verlander, Austin Riley hitting a two-run home run and Travis d’Arnaud scoring after a Starling Marte error turned an Eddie Rosario single into Eddie Rosario getting to third base. In the second, the Mets dropped five runs on Strider, including a Brandon Nimmo grand slam, taking the Mets from three runs behind to two ahead. But as the previous two games showed, that’s not even close to a guarantee.

The third was another fun inning for both teams. The Mets added another run by way of a Brett Baty RBI single, putting them up three runs. The Braves tacked on two runs in the bottom of the inning, with Orlando Arcia getting an RBI single of his own, and Ronald Acuña Jr. walking to drive in a run, shaving the Mets lead down to a single run, which has been a precarious situation to be in for the Mets this season.

Francisco Álvarez belted a two-run home run in the fourth, to expand the Mets lead to three runs yet again. Stephen Nogosek was able to stall the Braves offense for an inning (albeit not without some trouble) and the Mets added on again in the fifth, with a Tommy Pham RBI double to expand the lead to four runs (still not a guarantee for the Mets, especially against the Braves). In the bottom of the inning Marcell Ozuna hit a home run to whittle away at the Mets lead.

Álvarez had so much fun hitting a home run in the fourth he decided to do it again in the sixth, expanding the Mets lead to four runs yet again. In the bottom of the inning Rosario hit an RBI single, again chipping away at the lead. In the bottom of the eighth, former Met and current Met killer d’Arnaud hit a two run home run to cut the Mets lead to one, single, solitary run, chasing Drew Smith from the game and forcing David Robertson to attempt to get a five-out save.

The Mets attempted to help Robertson in the top of the ninth, loading the bases with only one out. But they were unable to do anything with such a prime position, with Omar Narváez and Mark Vientos both striking out, stranding all three runners and leaving Robertson to defend a one run lead. And that proved too difficult, giving up a game-tying home run courtesy of Orlando Arcia. On to the extras they went.

In the bottom of the 10th inning, with Tommy Hunter on the mound and two runners on, Ozzie Albies hit a three-run, walk-off home run to end the misery and cause the Mets to be swept for the second time in as many series.

The Mets are in freefall. They cannot win if they only give up one run, they cannot win if they score ten runs. If the pitching is good, the hitters falter. If the offense turns on, the pitching goes ice cold. There’s still a decent chance they can make the playoffs, but this is not the Mets of last year. Whatever the difference may be, there is a stark difference. They go on to Pittsburgh to face the Pirates, having fallen to fourth place, 8.5 games out of first.

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What’s WPA?

Big Mets winner: Brandon Nimmo, +38.0% WPA
Big Mets loser: Tommy Hunter, -35.9% WPA
Mets pitchers: -96.1% WPA
Mets hitters: +46.1 WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Brandon Nimmo’s first inning grand slam, +33.7% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Orlando Arcia’s game-tying home run in the ninth inning, -46.7% WPA