Heading into tonight, the New York Mets offense is on life support, and Atlanta Braves starter Charlie Morton was coming off his best start of the season. It was a combination set for disaster, and an untimely injury to Marcus Stroman led to a 3-0 victory in favor of the Braves.
— New York Mets (@Mets) June 23, 2021
Stroman got through one inning and threw three pitches in the second inning before leaving with left hip soreness. Judging by the motions on the mound, Stroman could not extend enough to finish his pitches properly. The injury was another one to a team that desperately needs everyone to remain healthy. Yennsy Diaz came in to relieve and worked into and out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam but striking out three in a row.
Diaz’s luck ran out in the following inning when the shift prevented the Mets from turning an inning-ending double play. Jeff McNeil and Francisco Lindor are known for their miscommunication up the middle, and it showed again. McNeil sprawled to get the ball instead of letting Lindor take it, which left second base vacated. It left Diaz to face Dansby Swanson, and he made the Mets pay by drilling a three-run home run. The homer turned out to be all the Braves needed as the Mets bullpen pitched six shutout innings to finish the victory.
Morton The Magician
Morton held a no-hitter for seven innings in his last start and was just as good tonight. Over seven innings, he held the Mets to just one hit while striking out 11. Even the one hit the Mets recorded was a lucky infield single from pinch-hitting pitcher Jerad Eickhoff. James McCann was responsible for the second hit with a ninth-inning double against Braves closer Will Smith.
Overall, the Mets offense looks ugly no matter how you look at the numbers. They have been scoreless in 17 consecutive innings and shut out for the fourth time in the last seven days. Even with the reinforcements coming off the IL, it will take more than one hitter to jumpstart the offense. They will have their chance to get going against Kyle Wright while the Mets have no clue who their starter will be for the final game of the series. The first pitch from Citi Field is another 7:10 p.m. ET start.