Takeaways from the Mets 6-3 loss to the Braves on Wednesday…
The Mets dropped the rubber game of their three game series with the Braves by the score of 6-3 on Wednesday at Citi Field. Here are my takeaways from the loss…
Missed opportunities prove costly.
It was another game filled with missed opportunities at the plate for the Mets, and it eventually came back to cost the Mets.
The Mets got a home run from Daniel Murphy in the first inning and an RBI single from Ruben Tejada – one of three hits from Tejada on the night – in the second inning.
But that was it for the Mets and their offense for a while. In fairness, the Mets hit a lot of balls hard, but right at people to stymie their offense, but they still lacked a lot of quality at-bats with runners on, which continues to be the main concern.
They wasted a two-out triple from Yoenis Cespedes in the third, grounded into an inning ending double play in the fourth, and a one out walk in the fifth.
But then came the seventh inning after Atlanta came back to take the lead on Bartolo Colon and Addison Reed in the top half of the frame, when Tejada led off with a single and was immediately replaced by Eric Young Jr.
Young made the critical decision of the inning to steal second, which he did moments after Michael Cuddyer struck out for the first out of the inning. Then, Curtis Granderson lined a 3-0 pitch right to Nick Markakis, and it once again looked like the Mets were going to waste yet another opportunity.
But David Wright came up with two outs and lined a single into center to tie the game and breathe some life back into the Mets, who really had been scuffling coming into this game.
Unfortunately, the Mets went blank again, which left the door open for Freddie Freeman to strike again for the second time in this game, this time against Jeurys Familia on a hanging splitter. He took that splitter and hit it over the wall in left-centerfield to seal the deal for Atlanta with a three-run home run.
Bartolo rolled, for about six innings.
What a run for Bartolo Colon. Outside of a minor hiccup in his last start when he allowed three runs in 5 2/3 innings, he has been beyond brilliant for the last month. He has a 1.02 ERA sine August 26, doing what he did all night on Wednesday, which is dazzle with his two-seamer down in the zone, mix in the occasional slider and change, work quickly, and get a lot of quick, weak contact.
On Wednesday, he was perfect into the fifth inning before giving up an infield single. The Braves started to figure things out against him to a degree at that point, as he allowed four more hits and left with the bases loaded in the seventh inning.
He probably should’ve just gone six innings, but it’s easy to second guess based on how the seventh inning. He was so good for the first six innings – it’s just a shame the way it ended for him, as Addison Reed couldn’t bail him out when he allowed run scoring hits to Michael Bourn and Freddie Freeman.
Despite that seventh inning, Colon’s performance is warranting a legitimate discussion about his status on the playoff roster come October. It’s remarkable, because a month ago he probably didn’t have much of a chance given the way things were going for him. But his late season resurgence – or renaissance – is probably going to give him a job next month, presumably in long relief.
And if Carlos Torres doesn’t get back in time, he’s probably a shoe-in for a long relief role.
Good rebound for Clip.
Tyler Clippard needed a good outing, and he got one.
He came into a tie game in the eighth inning, and at first things weren’t looking good. He hit Pedro Ciriaco to start the inning and looked pretty wild in the next sequence to AJ Pierzynski. But he got him to line out to first and then he induced a 4-6-3 double play from Andrelton Simmons to get out of the jam.
The Mets are going to need Clippard to start resembling the form he was in throughout the month of August if they’re standing a chance in October. That’s a time of year when so much depends on a lockdown formula in the late innings, and Clippard needs to get back into that groove for that to be the case for the Mets.
If he does, the Mets are going to be really tough to beat in the tournament.
A brutal series, and a brutal homestand.
This was the game the Mets had to get. They couldn’t lose a series to what is representing the Braves at this point in time.
Unfortunately, they failed to get this one, and it cost them a series against a team they shouldn’t have lost one to, especially after crushing them in Atlanta nearly two weeks ago. The way it ended with Freeman’s home run was the capper to a horrific homestand, marred by a flat offense, mostly disappointing pitching, and just some generally poor play.
They endured their first losing homestand of the year over this nine-game span, and didn’t look particularly inspiring throughout the entire week. They seemed too challenged at times, and other times they were simply outplayed by teams they just have to beat. So much has been made of the weak schedule over the final six weeks of the season, and the Mets have mostly taken advantage of that, but the last nine games seemed like a wasted opportunity thanks to what really was a non-existent offense.
Obviously, they need to get their bats rolling again. They’re heading to two bandboxes in Great American Ballpark and Citizens Bank Ballpark over the next week, at which point the Mets should come home having hopefully clinched the National League East. During that time, perhaps the bats will get back on course.
They need them to no matter what.
Other notes from Wednesday:
Familia had allowed just one earned run in his last 25 innings before allowing three ninth inning home runs on Wednesday.
Murphy hit his 13th home run of the season in the first inning, tying a career-high.
Travis d’Arnaud broke out of an 0-for-18 slump with a two-hit night.
The Mets went 3-6 on their nine-game homestand, scoring 23 runs in the nine games and going 11-for-68 with runners in scoring position.
The Mets were outscored 47-23 on their nine-game home stand.