The Mets went to Atlanta with a one-game lead in the National League East and controlled their own destiny. They threw that down the drain. After getting swept by the Braves, they leave Truist Park two games back and will likely enter the postseason as the NL’s top Wild Card team.
So, what happened?
- Braves 5, Mets 2
- Winning pitcher: Max Fried (14-7, 2.48)
- Losing pitcher: Jacob deGrom (5-4, 3.08)
- Home runs hit: Tomas Nido, Austin Riley, Matt Olson, Dansby Swanson
- Braves 4, Mets 2
- Winning pitcher: Kyle Wright (21-5, 3.19)
- Losing pitcher: Max Scherzer (11-5, 2.29)
- Home runs hit: Dansby Swanson, Matt Olson
- Braves 5, Mets 3
- Winning pitcher: Dylan Lee (5-1, 2.15 ERA)
- Losing pitcher: Chris Bassitt (15-9, 3.42)
- Home runs hit: Daniel Vogelbach, Jeff McNeil, Dansby Swanson, Matt Olson
Mets players who thrived
I know it wasn’t his typical dominance, but there’s no way I’m going to say Jacob deGrom struggled in his Friday night start. Yes, he allowed three solo home runs, but they were the only runs he allowed in six innings while striking out 11 hitters. After posting his worst start in three years in his last start, this was a solid rebound. It’s not his fault the offense couldn’t pick him up.
Saying deGrom “thrived” in his start may be a little much, but it’s not fair to say he struggled.
Joely Rodriguez, Trevor May, Edwin Diaz, and Adam Ottavino all logged at least one inning over the weekend out of the bullpen without being scored upon.
At the plate, the one consistent force was Jeff McNeil. He collected multi-hit performances in each game, and he’s actually on a five-game multi-hit streak. It’s been a bunch of singles for McNeil before launching a homer in the finale.
After singling on Saturday night, Daniel Vogelbach tried to spark the offense on Sunday with a homer and RBI single of his own.
Mets players who struggled
It’s also hard for me to say Max Scherzer struggled. However, he certainly didn’t put together his best performance in what was viewed as a must-win game for New York. The right-hander allowed four runs on nine hits with four strikeouts in 5.2 innings. Chris Bassitt did worse in the finale, allowing four runs while failing to complete three innings.
The bullpen mostly performed well this weekend. However, it was marred by Tylor Megill’s performance in relief of deGrom on Friday night. He registered 0.2 innings while allowing two runs on three hits.
Francisco Alvarez went 0-for-Atlanta in his first taste of big-league action. That’s not exactly surprising, but you just know he’s likely putting a little pressure on himself to get that first hit over with. Mark Canha and Tyler Naquin both struggled, but more importantly, Francisco Lindor and Pete Alonso didn’t do much of anything in this series.
They’re New York’s two big boppers, so when they’re not producing, that’s usually a huge problem for this offense.
Braves players who gave New York a hard time
In 10 innings across the first two games, Max Fried and Kyle Wright combined to allow three runs on one walk and six strikeouts. Atlanta’s bullpen allowed just one run all weekend. Raisel Iglesias and Kenley Jansen put the clamp down in the later innings, too. They combined to strike out eight hitters in five innings.
Dansby Swanson left his mark by hitting a home run in each contest. It was also hard for Met pitchers to retire Matt Olson and Austin Riley. Swanson is due to be a free agent at season’s end. He might be back in Atlanta next year, but Olson and Riley will be around for the majority of the next decade.
Miscellaneous Mets notes
Scherzer’s four earned runs allowed were the most he’s let cross the plate since August 22nd against the Yankees.
Eduardo Escobar finished September with eight home runs, 24 RBI, and a .340 batting average. He was named to MLB’s All-September team, and his performance puts him in rare company among Mets hitters in franchise history.
Depending on how things shake out in the final regular-season series, Buck Showalter didn’t rule out the possibility of using Scherzer as a reliever.
The Mets had their three best starters lined up for the biggest series of the season. They combined to allow 11 runs and six homers to Braves hitters.
Prior to Saturday’s game, Showalter said Starling Marte’s soreness has improved, but he still can’t grip a ball or bat.
What’s next on the schedule
The Mets return home to Citi Field for the final series of the regular season before the playoffs start. Here’s the information you need to know about it all.
- Nationals @ Mets: Monday, October 3rd at 7:10 pm ET
- TV: SNY, Radio WCBS 880
- Probable starters: Cory Abbott (0-4, 5.11 ERA) vs. Carlos Carrasco (15-7, 3.95)
- Nationals @ Mets: Tuesday, October 4th at 7:10 pm ET
- TV: SNY, Radio: WCBS 880
- Probable starters: Paulo Espino (0-8, 4.30) vs. Taijuan Walker (12-5, 3.59)
- Nationals @ Mets: Wednesday, October 5th at 4:10 pm ET
- TV: SNY, Radio: WCBS 880
- Probable starters: Erick Fedde (6-12, 5.27) vs. TBD