New York Mets
(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

New York Mets legends were on hand to be saluted, but the modern edition couldn’t take a win away from the NL East leaders from Atlanta.

There was only one set of Miracle Mets on hand at Citi Field on Saturday. Alas for the 2019 squadron, it wasn’t them.

Further follies from the bullpen marred a night of celebration, as the New York Mets fell to the Atlanta Braves by a 5-4 final. The loss came after a pregame ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Mets’ first improbable World Series title from 1969.

The NL East-leading Braves captured the series win by opening scoring immediately. Ozzie Albies‘ two-run single created a 2-0 lead. Rain settled in shortly after the Braves took the early lead, forcing Mets starter Steven Matz from the game.

With Matz forced out, 29-year-old Chris Mazza made his MLB debut. After some early troubles, letting up a Dansby Swanson RBI double in his first frame, Mazza settled down and brought stability to the game. He threw 62 pitches (40 strikes) over four innings, allowing five hits and striking out two.

As Mazza worked through his introduction, the Mets (37-47) staged a steady comeback. Dominic Smith got it started with a solo home run in the third before a pair of Jeff McNeil RBI doubles, one in the fourth, the other in the sixth, scored Ahmed Rosario to tie the game.

Two batters after the sixth inning score, McNeil became the go-ahead portion of a 4-3 Mets’ lead when he came home on a scoring single from Robinson Cano.

Alas, for the Mets, more bullpen blues awaited.

Seth Lugo (L, 3-2) pitched a scoreless seventh, and struck out Josh Donaldson to start the eighth. However, back-to-back solo blasts sealed yet another heartbreaking defeat. Nick Markakis, subbing for the departed Albies (who left for precautionary reasons after being hit by a pitch), tied the game with a home run to left center, and Austin Riley hit the winner to left, giving Lugo his fourth blown save of the season.

The deflated Mets were unable to start a rally against Jacob Webb and Luke Jackson and fell by the 5-4 margin. The Braves (50-34) have now earned at least two wins in seven straight series. New York has now lost seven in a row. Relievers have taken the loss in four of the five most recent defeats. As a team, the Mets have now blown 21 saves, worst in the majors.

The Mets will look to salvage a win in this week’s edition of Sunday Night Baseball (7:00 p.m. ET, ESPN). Noah Syndergaard (5-4, 4.55 ERA) squares off against Max Fried (9-3, 3.96 ERA).

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