Going into a 3-game series against the Braves, the Mets position atop the NL East seemed to be in danger. Offensive struggles were in full force, and a red hot team in the Washington Nationals were right on the Mets’ coattails. Unfortunately, these assumptions were correct, as the Mets continued to produce no offense and the Nationals kicked into a flimsy 2 game deficit. Several Mets players have been quoted as showing a lack of concern due to the standings. This concern needs to go up after an embarrassing series vs the Braves.
As stated, the Mets squeaked out one win against the Braves. What’s even more demoralizing is that the Mets scored just nine runs in this series. Similarly, New York scored just 4 in their last series against Atlanta. Things need to change and need to change soon.
Game 1: Mets Win 4-3
A sign of hope was shown in the first game of this series, as the Mets were able to put together a gutsy 4-3 victory. After getting shut out for 6 innings, Braves SP Charlie Morton gave up a 3-run HR to James McCann. In that same inning, Francisco Lindor slapped a single to drive in Jose Peraza after Peraza doubled. Trevor May, Seth Lugo, and Edwin Diaz were able to shut the door on Atlanta’s offense and secure the win.
As for the starting pitching, Tylor Megill was solid once again, going 5 IP and giving up 3 runs. The 3 runs may look like a lot, but that is due to a 5th inning 3-run shot from Ozzie Albies. Megill was through a scoreless 4 IP prior to the home run. Megill continues to impress and has likely earned himself another start, especially because of an injury to David Peterson.
Game 2: Braves Win 20-2
No, that is not a typo. The Atlanta Braves slaughtered the New York Mets by 18 runs in the second game. Pete Alonso plated the only Mets runs in the top of the 1st, with a 2-run no doubter. After that, the Braves scored 20 unanswered runs, including 7 in the 4th inning. While the pitching was awful, the offensive struggle of this game cannot go unnoticed, as the Mets had just 2 hits in the last 8 innings of this game. However, the atrocious pitching in this game was the story. Peterson, Sean Reid-Foley, and debutant Thomas Szapucki combined to let up 17 (yes, 17) runs in 7 innings of work. Center fielder Albert Almora pitched the bottom of the eighth, allowing 3 runs on another Albies home run.
To summarize, this game was a game to forget. Peterson left with right side tightness as rotational help looks to be needed by the trade deadline. Although he has had an up-and-down year, hopefully Peterson is healthy and will continue to pitch this season.
Game 3: Braves Win 4-3
The deciding game of this series was an absolute heartbreaker as the Mets and their ace Jacob deGrom lost 4-3. The Mets jumped out to an early 1-0 lead as Michael Conforto singled to bring home Lindor. This looked like it could’ve been all deGrom needed for a win, as he came into this game with an absurd 0.69 ERA. That was not the case, however, as deGrom let up 3 runs on an Albies RBI single and an Austin Riley 2-run bullet home run. After this eventful 1st inning, the Braves looked to score more. An Abraham Almonte double and Kevan Smith single put runners on the corners with no outs. At this point is when we saw deGrom turn it up, striking out the next three batters he saw. From the 4th to the 6th, deGrom struck out 8 of the 9 batters he faced. Overall, deGrom went 7 IP, 3 ER, 14 K, and 0 BB. An impressive showing after a rough first inning.
As for the Mets, their offense also went cold after the 1st inning. They didn’t score any runs until a pair of Dominic Smith in the 7th and 9th tied the game heading into the bottom of the 9th. After an error by pitcher Seth Lugo, and a pair of walks by Ronald Acuna Jr. and Ender Inciarte, the bases were loaded with 2 outs in a tie game. Reigning NL MVP Freddie Freeman stepped in, looking to win the game. On the first pitch he saw, Freeman lined a curveball back to Lugo. The ball bounced off of Lugo and in the direction of 3rd baseman Luis Guillorme. Guillorme attempted an off-balance throw to first, but it was not in time as Freeman beat it out. It was a heartbreaking end.
To keep it simple, the Mets look lost right now. Regulars Conforto and Jeff McNeil have not found their groove after stints on the IL. Lindor continues to be inconsistent, and the offense as a whole is slumping. The Mets have eclipsed the 5 run mark just once in the past 17 games. The situation is dire, and the consensus is that this team needs a new bat by the trade deadline.