First things first: It starts with the starting pitcher and Zack Wheeler wasn’t good tonight. He gave up two runs in the second on a double by newest Brave Francisco Cervelli (is there a cricket player they’d like to pick up to beat the Mets tomorrow), and then he gave up jacks to Ozzie Albies and Josh Donaldson in the third inning to put the Mets in a 4-0 hole in a game that they really could have used him to shut the Braves down. But he stabilized in the fourth and fifth inning to keep the Mets in the same zip code.
The Mets scratched out a run in the third and then exploded to take the lead in the fifth with four runs … a rally which was capped off by Pete Alonso’s three run homer to give the Mets a 5-4 lead, and to give Alonso a tie of the club record for home runs in a season on August Freaking 24th. It gave the Mets life before the Mets choked their own air supply away.
Very next inning, top of the sixth: Cervelli hits one down the third base line and quite frankly, Todd Frazier should have had it. Keith and Gare tried to come up with the “tough play” jazz but it was there for him. Unfortunately, Frazier is too busy blocking twitter accounts to block baseballs, and Rafael Ortega tied the game with a single to make it 5-5.
Bottom of the 7th, Jeff McNeil returns from the disabled list and he lines the first pitch into the right center field gap to lead off the inning with a double. Everyone is happy, everyone is feeling good, time for the Mets to capitalize with Amed Rosario up. Rosario recently had a stretch where he went 16-for-28, and had two hits in the game to this point. So what does Handsome Art Howe do? Maroon has him square to bunt for the first two pitches for some dumb reason, and Rosario put himself in an 0-2 hole because nobody knows how to bunt anymore yet nobody told Handsome Art this.
So down 0-2, Rosario hits a slow roller to shortstop and McNeil, again … for some reason … tries to take third base on the play. Almost makes it, but almost only counts in horseshoes, so he was out. Then Rosario tried to make up for it by stealing second, but Cervelli throws him out. Joe Panik then grounded out to shortstop to end the inning instead of having an opportunity to drive in McNeil through a drawn-in infield at the very worst. The tornado of vapor locks was just getting started.
Top of the 8th: Brad Brach gets the first two outs, but gives up hits to Ortega and Billy Hamilton to bring up Ronald Acuna, which in itself is unforgivable. Acuna gets a hit over short to give the Braves the lead and send Hamilton steaming towards third. J.D. Davis, not an experienced left fielder but not somebody who has killed the Mets repeatedly out there, faked a throw to third, held onto the ball for a bit, and then made the worst decision he could have made: lollipopped a throw in to Rosario. Hamilton, who the Braves are no doubt commissioning a statue for to stand right next to Cervelli’s, raced home just as Rowengartner’s floater was coming down. The unnecessary run turned a 6-5 game into a 7-5 game, and for the first time in a while, the vibe from the crowd (at least on television) had become frustrated and a little bit hopeless. The Mets had lost leads lately and there was still a feeling as if they would come back. After that play, the game seemed over.
Sure enough, Edwin Diaz gave up a missile to Freddie Freeman to make it 8-5, and then had to leave the game with what Handsome Art called “Trap Tightness“. (I swear the Mets have taught me more about medicine than I coudl have learned from medical school.) It was disheartening to hear Mets fans boo Diaz as he came off the mound but I’d bet you in the hearts of those Mets fans they were actually booing Brodie Von Monorail for making that trade.
Cervelli drove in the final run of the game to cement his place in the Braves’ Hall of Fame and put the capper on a 9-5 loss. The loss exposed some sloppiness in the ranks, reminded the Mets that the Braves are pretty good when it comes down to it, and it also makes Friday’s loss seem a million times worse than it was. As it is, the Mets dropped two games where they either had chances to win late, or had a lead late and lost it. The Mets would do good to stop the bleeding with a victory on Sunday, seeing as if they’ve fallen behind the Phillies and into a tie with the Brewers in the chase for the last playoff spot. Hopefully the Braves don’t pick up somebody else who was recently taken off his team’s roster, because if the Mets lose Sunday on a late home run by Andrew Luck I’m going to lose it.
Today’s Hate List
- Francisco Cervelli
- Billy Hamilton
- Jordan Yamamoto
- Scott Kingery
- Corey Dickerson