Earlier this month, Spencer Strider called the Mets “lucky” after they tagged him for four runs on six hits, sending him packing after just 2 2/3 innings.
Well of course, with the Mets headed to Atlanta this week and Strider on the mound in the series opener, the talk of the town was the Mets getting another crack at their newly-minted nemesis. Would he back up his fighting words?
Credit to Strider. He was excellent on Monday, allowing just three hits (only one for extra bases) and one run over five strong innings. The Braves dominated the Mets in a 13-1 romp that pulled them back to within 4.5 games of the NL East lead.
So was Strider right? After all, he shut down one of the league’s best lineups.
Nope. Strider’s comments were still immature and, quite frankly, a lame excuse for a poor pitching performance. The fact that he’s talking so high and mighty for a team that is still several games behind the Mets in the standings is the real irony here.
Does the second best record in baseball – deep into August – sound lucky?
Knowing how these things go, Brave fans will wake up on Tuesday morning claiming their supremacy over the Mets. Good for them. Not too long ago – as in, less than two weeks ago – the Braves handily defeated the Mets 9-6, but led as much as 8-0. Things seemed to be turning wonderfully in Atlanta’s favor until the Mets dominated the final three games of that series.
Blowout losses like these are inevitable in baseball, for the best and worst teams. As cliché as it might sound, a 13-1 loss is the same as a 2-1 loss.
Looking at the season as a whole, the Mets have had the Braves’ number all year. One lopsided game doesn’t do enough to change that narrative.