Mets Game Preview: (6/23/21) vs. Atlanta Braves (35-37)

The New York Mets and Atlanta Braves play the final game of their four-game series as the Mets search for a split. Braves pitching has done a terrific job of shutting down the Mets’ offense, throwing 17 consecutive scoreless innings. The final matchup of the series is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET from Citi Field.

In last night’s game, the injury bug struck Marcus Stroman, which forced him to leave with a left hip issue. Luckily, Stroman’s MRI came back clean, and he should avoid the injured list. As of 5:15 p.m., they have not released their lineup, but they expect Michael Conforto to rejoin them tonight. Conforto has been on the sidelines since May 16 and is a massive boost to the struggling Mets offense.

The Braves offense has not been anything special series, but they have played just like the Mets all year. They found ways to score just enough to win, and it earned them two victories. Will Smith and A.J. Minter both pitched in back-to-back days and are unlikely to take the mound today. Chris Martin or Tyler Matzek are likely to take over the late innings if the Braves have a lead tonight.

Pitching Matchups

Tylor Megill is making his MLB debut a lot sooner than the Mets had hoped. Multiple injuries to their starting rotation have forced the Mets to test the depth of their minor league system. Megill is the 21st ranked prospect in the Mets farm system and has only pitched 14.1 innings at Triple-A. Overall between Double-A and Triple-A, he has a 3.35 ERA with a very impressive 13.2 K/9.

Kyle Wright gets the call from the minors to make his second start of the season and first since April 16. Wright is taking the spot of Max Fried, who is on the 10-day IL with a blister on his left index finger. In his only start of the season, Wright pitched 4.1 innings, allowing two runs and striking out five against the Chicago Cubs.

Matchups To Lookout For

Kyle Wright vs. Jeff McNeil: 4-for-7 (.571), 2 Doubles

Kyle Wright vs. Dominic Smith: 3-for-6 (.500), Home Run, Walk

Morton Shuts Down Mets Offense, Stroman Injured in Braves 3-0 Victory

New York Yankees, New York Mets, Marcus Stroman

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.

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.

Mets Game Preview: (6/22/21) vs. Atlanta Braves (34-37)

After splitting their doubleheader on Monday, the New York Mets and Atlanta Braves play the third game of their series. Offense was at a premium on Monday as both teams combined for seven runs over the 14 innings they played. If the rain avoids Citi Field, the third game will be a 7:10 p.m. ET start.

The Mets offense has struggled mightily as last night marked their third shutout in the past week. Their offense took even more of a hit when Jonathan Villar left yesterday’s game with a calf injury after legging out a double. Villar walked himself off the field, but the Mets cannot catch a break with their injury problems. Luckily, with Jeff McNeil back in the fold, they will not need Villar to rush himself back.

Austin Riley has -1 defensive runs saved but made plenty of terrific plays to help the Braves take the second game last night. Ronald Acuna Jr. also continued to show why he is such an electric player. After failing to get anything going during game one, he homered and threw a 97 mph strike to third base to gun down a runner.

Pitching Matchup

Marcus Stroman makes his 15th start of the season and has become an innings eater for the Mets rotation. Stroman has completed at least six innings in each of his last nine starts. He has been able to go deep into games by throwing over two-third of his pitches for strikes and allowing just two walks per nine innings. Through 84.1 innings, Stroman has a 2.35 ERA and a 6-5 record.

The 37-year old veteran Charlie Morton takes the hill for the Braves and comes off a fantastic start against the St. Louis Cardinals. Morton pitched a season-high 7.2 innings and threw a season-high 112 pitches to shutout the Cards. Morton has not found his Cy Young caliber form yet but has been solid with a 4.03 ERA over 14 starts this season. In his last start against the Mets, he held them to one run over six innings with eight strikeouts.

Matchups To Lookout For

Charlie Morton vs. Francisco Lindor: 2-for-18 (.111), 2 Doubles, 5 Strikeouts

Marcus Stroman vs. Dansby Swanson: 4-for-8 (.500), Walk, 2 Strikeouts

Marcus Stroman vs. Ozzie Albies: 4-for-9 (.444), Strikeout

deGrom Amazes Again in Mets 4-2 Win Over Braves in Game One

New York Mets, Jacob deGrom

Jacob deGrom showed he was just fine in the New York Mets 4-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves. The Mets ace battled shoulder soreness in his previous start and showed no ill effects as he lit up the radar gun once again. The victory put the Mets six games ahead of the Braves as they head into game two of their doubleheader.

deGrom had everything working for him in five shutout innings and striking out six. He should have allowed no hits but miscommunication between Dominic Smith and Albert Almora Jr. in the outfield resulted in a ground-rule double. deGrom became the first pitcher to undergo an on-field “foreign substance” investigation for MLB’s new initiative. The Mets kept deGrom to just 70 pitches as they continue to treat him as carefully as possible.

Find Ways To Score

The Mets’ offense was lackluster against Braves starter Kyle Muller, who made his first big league start. They played small ball early in the first inning by bunting Jonathan Villar to second on a walk, moving him to third on a flyball, and scoring him on a wild pitch. Muller ended up pitching four solid innings, holding the Mets to a hit and the one run. Smith took care of the final three runs with his double in the bottom of the fifth.

Seth Lugo had the opportunity to complete a six-out save but did not look sharp in his one inning of work. Lugo allowed a two-run home run to Ozzie Albies and was bailed out by instant replay, which turned a Ronald Acuna Jr. hit by a pitch into a strikeout. Edwin Diaz stepped in to get the final three outs of the game and secure his 15th save of the season.

Ian Anderson takes the mound in game two for the Braves against a pitcher to be determined for the Mets. The first pitch from Citi Field should be thrown around 8:15 p.m. ET.

Mets Game(s) Preview: (6/21/21) vs. Atlanta Braves (33-36)

After a disappointing weekend in Washington D.C., the New York Mets return home for a crucial series against the Atlanta Braves. The Braves are five games behind the Mets, and the teams play four games in three days. Monday begins with a twi-night doubleheader, and game one begins at 5:10 p.m. ET from Citi Field.

The Mets struggling offense will get a massive boost as Jeff McNeil will return off the IL. McNeil has not played since May 16, when he injured his hamstring during the series against the Tampa Bay Rays. Before the injury, McNeil was only hitting .242 with three home runs and eight runs batted in. The offense needs the help as they have scored just nine runs in the last five games.

The Braves come off a big series win against the St. Louis Cardinals where they took three out of four games. They have severely underachieved but are still just five games out of first place. Ronald Acuna Jr. is putting up MVP again after a rough month of May. In June, Acuna is hitting .311/.463/.574 and has stolen nine bases as he pushes towards a 40/40 season.

Pitching Matchups

Game One:

Jacob deGrom returns to the mound after leaving his last start with shoulder sorness. In the start against the Chicago Cubs, deGrom faced eight batters and struck out eight of them to lower his ERA to 0.54 on the season. Luckily for the Mets, deGrom’s injury showed no damage which allows him to return to the mound on regular rest.

Kyle Muller makes the first start of his big league career after making one relief outing. The bullpen cameo did not go well as Muller allowed four hits and two runs to the Boston Red Sox. Mullet is just 23 and has a 3.17 ERA during his minor league career.

Game Two:

The Mets have not listed a starter for the second game as they have no idea how game one will play out. Jerad Eickhoff is with the team and is likely to pitch game two if all goes well for deGrom. If Eickhoff has to pitch in game one, the second one will likely be a bullpen game.

Ian Anderson is the definite starter for the Braves and is putting together a solid rookie campaign. Yes, despite getting rookie of the year votes in 2020, Anderson is still in his rookie season. Anderson went over the 50 inning threshold this season and has been a reliable piece of the Braves rotation. After having a 2.82 ERA through nine starts, Anderson has struggled slightly to put up a 5.59 ERA in his last four outings.

Matchups To Lookout For

Jacob deGrom vs. Freddie Freeman: 15-for-58 (.259), 2 Doubles, 3 Home Runs, 8 Walks, 16 Strikeouts

Jacob deGrom vs. Ronald Acuna Jr.: 8-for-25 (.320), Double, 2 Walks, 7 Strikeouts

Jacob deGrom vs. Ozzie Albies: 5-for-37 (.135), Double, Walk, 9 Strikeouts

Braves Figure Out How To Beat The Mets Replacements in 5-4 Loss

The New York Mets were pulling off miracles with their roster depth but had nothing left for the ninth inning against the Atlanta Braves. Manager Luis Rojas tried to ride Jacob Barnes for another inning, and Ronald Acuna had none of it. Acuna took his first pitch right over the center field fence to give the Braves a 5-4 walk-off win and avoid the sweep.

The Mets had an opportunity to take the lead in the ninth, but two consecutive popouts stranded Cameron Maybin on third base to end the inning. Rojas had to turn to his bullpen early again after David Peterson struggled in the fifth inning. Peterson began his start with four no-hit innings but allowed three runs and five hits before being lifted in the fifth.

Drew Smith and Miguel Castro delivered scoreless outings, but Aaron Loup ran into issues in the eighth. Loup allowed three consecutive hits and allowed the Braves to tie the game. Luckily, Barnes worked out of the eighth inning jam with help from the defense of James McCann.

Maybin’s Mets Debut

Maybin went from doing nothing with Cubs to making his 2021 debut as the three-hitter for the injured Mets. The lineup only had four hits, and three resulted in runs. Jonathan Villar opened up scoring with a solo home run, Jose Peraza drove in one with an RBI double, and Tomas Nido had another clutch hit with a two-run single to give them a 4-3 lead. Unfortunately, the cracks in their outfield showed as all three outfielders went hitless, and two (Maybin and Lee) recorded three strikeout games. While the offense was not there, Lee made another tremendous catch while patrolling right field.

Even if the Mets found a way to take the lead, Trevor May would have needed to pitch a third consecutive day. If they made it to extra innings, who knows what combination of pitchers would have made it to the mound. Despite the disappointing loss, the Mets left Atlanta with a rare series win and still sit in first place in the NL East. After Thursday’s day off, they will have another opportunity to take another series when they fly to Miami and face the Marlins.

Mets Game Preview: (5/19/21) @ Atlanta Braves (19-23)

The New York Mets and their bench mob attempt to pull off an improbable sweep in the third game of their series against the Atlanta Braves. Throughout all the injuries and a sweep at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays, the Mets have still managed to keep themselves in first place. The first pitch for the final game of the series is set for 7:20 p.m.

Bench mob leader Tomas Nido saved the Mets from going deeper in the bullpen when he launched a game-winning home run in the ninth last night. With multiple key offensive players on the injured list, the offense has to do enough to survive while the pitching does the rest. If the Mets are in a save situation again, Edwin Diaz is unlikely to pitch. Diaz has pitched for three consecutive days, and Trevor May has also thrown on back-to-back days. Closing duty is likely to fall on the shoulders of Miguel Castro, who has only pitched three times since May 9.

The Braves are in danger of falling into a tie for last place if they drop the final game of the series. Ronald Acuna is still looking for his first hit in the series, and it is no surprise that the Braves have been unable to score without his production. Acuna is facing a lefty today and is hitting .357 with a .714 slugging percentage. It is an excellent opportunity to boost his .184 May average and get his first home run of the month. Austin Riley will attempt the home run hat-trick homering in the first two games of the series. The Mets are likely to throw him a lot of breaking balls to neutralize his power numbers.

Pitching Matchup

David Peterson tries to give the Mets length and consistency; both have eluded him at times this season. Peterson worked into the eighth inning during his last start but has multiple appearances where he did not make it past the fourth inning this season. If Peterson can put up a scoreless first inning, he usually settles in for the rest of his start. This year, achieving the task has been challenging as Peterson puts up a 6.43 ERA and .654 slugging percentage against in the first frame.

The 37-year old Charlie Morton still has not settled in during his second tour in Atlanta. In eight starts, Morton has a 5.08 and has a 1.2 HR/9, his highest since 2010, where he had a 7.57 ERA. The month of May has been even more of a struggle with Morton allowing 13 runs (7 earned) in 10.2 innings, and hitters are batting .340 against him.

Matchups To Lookout For

David Peterson vs. Freddie Freeman: 0-for-6 (.000), 4 Strikeouts

Charlie Morton vs. Francisco Lindor: 2-for-16 (.125), 2 Doubles, 5 Strikeouts

Nido’s Ninth Inning Homer Leads Mets To Another Unlikely Win, 4-3

The New York Mets needed the bench mob and much more to find carry them to another miracle win over the Atlanta Braves, 4-3. Seven pitchers and a lineup of three starters somehow managed to find another way to gut out a tough victory in a place they rarely win.

Tomas Nido earned another start due to his hot streak at the plate, and he made manager Luis Rojas look like a genius. Nido’s solo home run off Will Smith gave the Mets just enough support for Edwin Diaz to earn a save. Despite pitching for the third consecutive day, Diaz was throwing 101 with a sharp slider and recorded a 1-2-3 inning to get another save. Jonathan Villar, who has now become a regular, provided half the offense with his two-run home run in the third inning.

The small army of Mets relievers combined to strike out 15, and none of them went more than two innings. It was never perfect throughout the middle innings, but the relievers did enough to stop the bleeding and prevented the Braves from taking the lead at any point. The win was another example of how tough and battle-tested every player on the roster has become this season. Even with the ugly sweep against the Tampa Bay Rays, the Mets have gone 9-3 in their last 12 games.

On Wednesday, David Peterson faces Charlie Morton as the Mets attempt a sweep of their division rival. If they pull it off, it will be the Mets’ first sweep in Atlanta since the 2016 season. The first pitch from Sun Trust Park will be another 7:20 p.m. ET start.

 

Mets Game Preview: (5/18/21) @ Atlanta Braves (19-22)

Someone the New York Mets found a way to win again, despite losing two more key players. They will try to lick their wombs and get themselves ready for game two of three against the Atlanta Braves. The first pitch from Georgia is a slightly later 7:20 p.m. ET start.

The Mets will need to dig deeper into their bench as Kevin Pillar is on his way to the injured list. He joins a crew of starting players who have created room for the Syracuse Mets to make their debuts on the roster. Johneshwy Fargas, Jake Hager, and Khalil Lee will have huge shoes to fill while the bat of Pillar, Brandon Nimmo, and Michael Conforto are sidelined. Fargas came through during Monday’s game with an RBI double, which was his first big league hit.

Holding Ronald Acuna and Freddie Freeman in check is the key to shutting down the Braves offense. On Monday, the Mets kept them both hitless, which is why their offense was held just to one run. With the Mets using a bullpen game, the task becomes much harder with the weaker parts of the bullpen being exposed to the two MVP candidates.

Pitching Matchup

The Mets will use an opener, but they still have no idea who it is. Drew Smith, Tommy Hunter, and Robert Gsellman are all options to start the bullpen game.

The Braves will throw Tucker Davidson, who only has 1.2 big league innings under his belt. In his only start during 2020, he allowed seven runs (two earned) and walked four batters. The offense should be plentiful for both teams during this middle game of the series.

Mets Survive and Win 3-1 Despite Losing Walker and Pillar

The New York Mets injury bug has become as contagious as COVID-19 as both Taijuan Walker, and Kevin Pillar left with injuries. Despite the losses, the Mets still managed to take game one over the Atlanta Braves by a score of 3-1. The win also allowed the Mets to keep their spot in first place in the NL East.

It seems every win will involve the Mets to search their active roster for help at this point in the season.  Walker pitched three shutout innings before leaving with tightness in his left side. Sean Reid-Foley cleaned up the mess by delivering three perfect innings, making it seem like Walker never left the game. The strong outing set the table for Jeurys Familia, Trevor May, and Edwin Diaz to shut the door on the win.

Bench Mob

After the top three hitters of Francisco Lindor, Pete Alonso, and Dominic Smith, the bench mob dominated the rest of the lineup. They had plenty of trouble solving Max Fried, who was able to keep the Mets quiet for the first six innings of his start. In the seventh, Fried left the game with a hand cramp after Tomas Nido‘s leadoff double. It gave the Mets their opportunity to get on the board as they loaded the bases against Jacob Webb.

Webb had himself an inning he would like to forget. Webb allowed a double to James McCann to give the Mets a 1-0 lead, then ended up loading the bases for Kevin Pillar. Unfortunately, Pillar got an RBI in the worst way possible by taking a fastball from Webb right on the bridge of his nose. Blood immediately spewed from Pillar’s nose, and he was forced to leave the game. Khalil Lee replaced Pillar in the outfield and joined fellow rookie Johneshwy Fargas out there. Fargas ended up leaving his mark on the game by recording an RBI double as his first major league hit.

The win was another example of the Mets’ ability to play through adversity. They came off a sweep, lost their starting pitcher after three innings, watched Pillar get hit in the face but still managed to find a way to win. Throughout all of the injuries, they still have themselves in first place with a chance to get to 20 wins on Tuesday. Speaking of Tuesday, both teams will rely heavily on their bullpen. The Mets will have a bullpen game while the Braves turn to Tucker Davidson to make his second career start.