Takeaways from the Mets 10-7 win over the Braves on Sunday…
The Mets defeated the Braves by the score of 10-7 on Sunday afternoon at Turner Field in Atlanta. Here are my takeaways from the win…
No quitting on a rough day for the B squad.
The Mets didn’t exactly put their best showing on the field on what was an unusually cool afternoon in Atlanta on Sunday.
The Mets took an early lead thanks to a second-inning two-run home run from Michael Conforto. But that was it for the offense until they broke through against Braves starter Ryan Weber for two runs in the seventh inning thanks to a two-run, bases loaded single from Curtis Granderson to give the Mets a 4-3 lead.
Their defense served as the black plague for Jon Niese once again, as it seemingly does every time he toes the rubber. They bungled routine plays and it cost Niese and the Mets a couple of runs, one in the third inning when Lucas Duda looked confused receiving a throw on a slow roller up the first base line, and another when Juan Uribe muffed a routine groundball at third which was a taylor-made 5-4-3 double play grounder.
Then, with Tim Stauffer making his Mets debut, Daniel Murphy poorly played a groundball in the seventh inning with a runner at first and nobody out, ultimately costing the Mets another lead. Of course, Stauffer could have prevented that run from scoring himself, but he decided to turn two on a comebacker with runners at the corners instead.
The Braves ultimately took the lead in the ninth inning on a go-ahead RBI single from Daniel Castro, and tacked on two more runs on the capper of poor fielding plays by Curtis Granderson in right field when he misplayed an easy flyball off the bat of Adonis Garcia.
But have no fear, as the Mets certainly didn’t.
With two outs and nobody on, Juan Lagares doubled into the gap in right field off of Peter Moylan. Then, Fredi Gonzalez lifted Moylan for Ryan Kelly, who walked Curtis Granderson. That brought Daniel Murphy to the plate as the tying run.
He proceeded to launch a game-tying, three-run home run, erasing a horrible day for him on both sides of the ball.
Then with two outs in the tenth, Kirk Nieuwenhuis walked, Ruben Tejada singled to right, and Nieuwenhuis scored the go-ahead run when Hector Olivera threw wide to second on a groundball off the bat of Kevin Plawecki.
The Mets scored two more runs thanks to two consecutive bases loaded walks, and that was it.
Again, this was an afternoon when the Mets just weren’t sharp, were playing their B squad and short in the bullpen. They deserved to lose, and to the Braves credit, they played well for nine innings and took advantage of a lot of extra outs the Mets gave them.
But the Mets are a team right now who have the ability to take advantage of any mistake and any break they get. Their fire and spirit were absolutely tremendous on Sunday, and despite playing poorly and shorthanded, they won anyway in remarkable fashion.
A Nieser day.
It was a better afternoon for Niese. Not great, but better.
He once again struggled with his arm slot, often times coming from that 3/4 region which resulted in flatter, lifeless pitches across the strike zone rather than down through it. His best inning was the fifth when he not only threw a 1-2-3 frame, but he was coming more over-the-top and had as much velocity on his stuff as he’s had for a month.
He was also betrayed by his defense on several occasions which didn’t help his cause, but he did a better job of containing the chaos than he had in his previous starts, which is certainly a good sign.
It was certainly a show of progress for the left-hander, but he still has work to do to find the consistency and rhythm with his pitches and delivery.
He’s pitching for his playoff life right now, so if he can finish his season with that consistency, he will make for a very difficult decision on October 5.
Mission accomplished anyway.
The Mets didn’t play well on Sunday, and they probably should have won this game earlier than they did after taking two different leads against Atlanta. But after the road trip started out in concerning fashion with two losses in Miami, the Mets took care of business and had a successful road trip in which they went 8-2 and took command of the National League East. They reduced their magic number from 24 to 11 during this trip and now have the National League East crown well within their sights.
They have a realistic shot at clinching the division in front of the home crowd now. That’s where it should happen, as the hometown faithful deserve to celebrate with the team at Citi Field.
They know that, and I’m sure they’re going to do everything in their power to make it happen.
Other notes from Sunday:
The Mets swept the Braves in a four-game series for the first time since 1989. It’s the first time the Mets have swept the Braves in Atlanta in a four-game series since 1985.
The Mets have scored three or more runs in each of their last 27 road games, extending a franchise record.
Addison Reed recorded his first save as a Met with a scoreless tenth inning.
Conforto now has four home runs in his last 13 games.
Granderson drew a bases loaded walk in the tenth inning – it was his fifth bases loaded walk of the season.
The Mets have grounded into 10 double plays in their last seven games.
The Braves extended their home losing streak to 12 games, the longest such streak since 1931.
The Mets have scored three or more runs in innings 7-9 in seven straight games.
For the first time since 2008, the Mets have clinched a winning season with their 82nd victory.