New York Mets Suffer Another Tough Loss to the Atlanta Braves

The New York Mets had a promising 2-1 lead over the Atlanta Braves in the sixth. Unfortunately, a six run sixth inning for the Braves put the game out of reach for the Mets.

Callaway Loses His Cool

Mickey Callaway had his first managerial ejection as a manager after disputing a non-call when Brandon Nimmo was hit on his elbow. In the same inning Jay Bruce seemed to break out of his funk when he drilled a bases loaded double to give the Mets a 2-1 lead. The Mets hopes were quickly put out when Devin Mesoraco grounded into a double play with runners on second and third to end the inning.

The Braves stormed right back against Zack Wheeler who held them to one run over the first five innings. Freddie Freeman led off the bottom of the sixth with a home run to tie the game at two. The six run inning was capped off by a grand slam by Ozzie Albies. The home run came off Paul Sewald but three of those runs were charged to Wheeler. The Mets bullpen continues to show how unreliable they are.

Bounces Going The Braves Way

The Mets came within inches of ending the sixth inning with the game still close. Ender Inciarte blooped a single past Amed Rosario to give the Braves a 3-2 lead. Shortly after, he was handed a gift of a stolen base when Asdrubal Cabrera dropped the ball attempting to tag Inciarte. Both plays would have ended the inning if the out was recorded. These type of situations tend favor good teams like the Braves and hurt struggling teams like the Mets.

Once Inciarte blooped the single over Rosario’s glove, there was a sense of the game being over at that moment. The poor Mets offense continued their historically bad offensive struggles which kills any momentum their pitchers give them. They were set down 1-2-3, five times and managed a measly three hits. The Mets are now 28-35 and have no reason to think they will sniff the .500 mark again this season.

Jacob deGrom will pitch on Wednesday, hoping to get enough runs to finally get a win he deserves. It may be another one of those starts where deGrom needs to throw a shutout to win and even that may not be enough for the Mets ace.

New York Mets Series Preview: Atlanta Braves (6/12-6/13)

New York Yankees, New York Mets, Zack Wheeler

The New York Mets look to rebound on a long road trip after a 1-8 home stand. They start their trip with a short two game series in Atlanta against the Braves. The Braves have taken seven of the ten games against the Mets this season. The last series the Mets played in Atlanta started the spiral that led to the poor home stand. The Braves are currently tied for first place with the Washington Nationals.

Probable Pitching Matchups

(6/12, 7:35 PM) Zack Wheeler (2-4, 4.57 ERA) vs. Mike Foltynewicz (5-4, 2.31 ERA)

(6/13, 12:10 PM) Jacob deGrom (4-1, 1.57 ERA) vs. Mike Soroka (1-1, 3.68 ERA)

The Streak is Over

The Mets finally broke their eight game losing streak with a 2-0 win against the New York Yankees. The offense has continued to struggle but the combination of Seth Lugo, Robert Gsellman and Anthony Swarzak shut the Bronx Bombers. The Mets will turn to Wheeler and deGrom to give the Mets an opportunity to comeback in the NL East. deGrom has been terrific all season and Wheeler has found his groove over his last two starts. He held the Chicago Cubs to two runs and shutout the Baltimore Orioles over seven innings.

The Mets made a small overhaul to their roster after Sunday night’s game ended. They released first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and designated Jose Lobaton for assignment. This opened up two roster spots for Dominic Smith and Ty Kelly. Smith will likely have a platoon role with Jay Bruce at first base. Kelly will be the utility guy he has been for his entire career. Kelly and Jose Reyes might see more playing time with Asdrubal Cabrera suffering a hamstring injury during Sunday night’s game.

Booming Braves

The Braves have been one of baseball’s surprises in 2018. They look like true contenders for the NL East crown and can hold their own with the Washington Nationals. Freddie Freeman has returned to his MVP form after it was halted when he was hit in his hand last year. Freeman is tied for the NL lead in Average and leads the NL in OPS. Nick Markakis has also put together a terrific season and is fifth in the NL with a .327 average.

Since June started the Braves are only 4-5 and have their highest ERA of any month this season. Mike Foltynewicz has emerged as the ace the Braves hoped he would become. He is fifth in the NL in ERA and strikeouts and has one of the five complete games thrown in the NL. Dan Winkler has also been dominant out of the Braves bullpen with a 1.03 ERA in 28 appearances. The Braves certainly have plenty of pieces to compete for a playoff spot this season and will be one of the reasons why the Nationals will not run away with the division.

Matchups to Lookout For

Asdrubal Cabrera vs. Mike Foltynewicz: 3-5 (.600) Double, Home Run, Strikeout

Freddie Freeman vs. Zack Wheeler: 7-14 (.500) 2 Doubles, Home Run, 9 Walks, 3 Strikeouts

Todd Frazier vs. Mike Foltynewicz: 1-8 (.125) Home Run, Walk, 4 Strikeouts

Ender Inciarte vs. Jacob deGrom: 5-26 (.192) Double, 2 Walks, 7 Strikeouts

Interesting Stats

Jacob deGrom during day games in his career: 19-8, 1.95 ERA, 268 IP, 293 Strikeouts

Freddie Freeman vs. Left Handed Pitching in 2018: 35-91 (.385) 6 Doubles, 6 Home Runs, 9 Walks, 19 Strikeouts

New York Mets Series Preview: Atlanta Braves (5/28-5-30)

New York Mets, Noah Syndergaard

The New York Mets just finished a rough four game series against the Milwaukee Brewers where they lost three out of four. They have a quick turnaround as they play four games in three days against the first place Atlanta Braves. The Braves just lost two out of three against the Boston Red Sox, but roughed up Chris Sale for six runs. They have dominated the Mets this season, taking five out of six games.

Probable Pitching Matchups

(5/28, 1:10 PM) Jacob deGrom (4-0, 1.54 ERA) vs. Max Fried (0-2, 6.00 ERA)

(5/28, 7:10 PM) TBD (Likely P.J. Conlon) vs. Brandon McCarthy (5-2, 4.67 ERA)

(5/29, 7:35 PM) Steven Matz (2-3, 3.80 ERA) vs. TBD

(5/30, 7:35 PM) Noah Syndergaard (4-1, 3.06 ERA) vs. Julio Teheran (4-2, 4.20 ERA)

Steamrolled by the Brew Crew

The series against the Brewers was brutal to say the least. The Mets had the lead in all four game but only managed to win one because their pitching faltered. One of the encouraging signs is that their offense finally seemed to wake up from the slump they had been in over the last couple of weeks. The fight they showed against a dominant Brewers bullpen and hopefully they can bring their offense to Atlanta.

The Mets pitching seemed just fine after allowing four runs in the first two games of the series, but collapsed in the last two games. They allowed 25 runs over two games after outside of Zack Wheeler, they entire staff looked lost. Jerry Blevins and Paul Sewald became victims of tough luck and Jason Vargas and Chris Flexen continued to look like they do not belong on a big league roster. If the Mets want to keep themselves in the division race their pitching desperately needs to wake up.

The Braves Are For Real

The Braves are a young team full of talent and have not slowed down at all this season. Ozzie Albies has blossomed quicker than expected and leads the team with 14 home runs. Nick Markakis has also continued to be one of the most underrated players in baseball and is tied for second in baseball with a .340 average. Of course, the Met killer, Freddie Freeman is still doing what he normally does in the middle of that Braves lineup.

The Braves received a little bit of a scare as their top prospect, Ronald Acuna Jr. injured his left knee trying to run out a ground ball. He fell as he ran through the base and tripped but was able to make it off the field without any help. His status for this series remains unknown as the Braves await the MRI results. The injury could have been worse as his knee buckled as he crossed the base. The rookie was hitting .265 with five home runs and 13 RBIs.

Matchups to Lookout For

Asdrubal Cabrera vs. Julio Teheran: 9-26 (.310) 3 Doubles, 2 Walks, 6 Strikeouts

Nick Markakis vs. Noah Syndergaard: 6-15 (.400) 1 Double, 1 Walk, 3 Strikeouts

Wilmer Flores vs. Julio Teheran: 3-21 (.143) 1 Home Run, 3 Walks, 3 Strikeouts

Tyler Flowers vs. Steven Matz 2-10 (.200) 1 Double, 3 Strikeouts

Interesting Stats

Asdrubal Cabrera at Sun Trust Park: 14-42 (.333) 2 Home Runs, 5 Doubles

Nick Markakis in High Leverage Situations: 397-1311 (.303) 25 Home Runs, .381 OBP

New York Mets Series Preview: Atlanta Braves (5/1-5/3)

After a 4-5 road trip, the New York Mets return back to Citi Field to welcome in the young Atlanta Braves. The Mets lost two out of three games in Atlanta during their nine game road trip. The Braves have been playing terrific baseball to start the season and have put themselves within 1.5 games of the first place Mets. For the first time in years, the Mets and Braves are playing an important series which is reminiscent of their classic battles in the 2000s.

Probable Pitching Matchups

(5/1, 7:10 PM) Sean Newcomb (1-1, 4.23) vs. Noah Syndergaard (2-0, 2.86)

(5/2, 7:10 PM) Julio Teheran (1-1, 4.50) vs. Jacob deGrom (3-0, 2.06)

(5/3, 1:10 PM) Mike Foltynewicz (2-1, 2.53) vs. Jason Vargas (0-1, 12.09)

Mets Led by Thor and deGrom

Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom have carried the Mets rotation throughout the first month this season. The Mets have been able to work around the sub-par starts for Vargas, Matt Harvey and Steven Matz, but this team will need more consistency to be successful. Jason Vargas hopes to be the stabilizer in the rotation and hopefully his horrible start in San Diego was just a hiccup in Vargas returning to form. Zack Wheeler has started to get in a groove and Vargas would be a key fourth starter the Mets can rely on.

The Mets will likely be without slugger Yoenis Cespedes for the whole series. He injured his thumb sliding head first into third base during Sunday’s game against the San Diego Padres. Cespedes said he suffered the same injury a couple of years ago and only missed three days. Brandon Nimmo and Juan Lagares will share time in the outfield during the series. Outside of the power numbers these two will not be a drop off in production. They are both great defenders and have combined to hit .329 and put up .442 on base percentage this season.

Young, but Talented Braves

The Mets will get their first look at young upstart, Ronald Acuna. He has started his career hot out of the gate with four doubles and a home run in just 19 at bats along with three singles. Acuna is not the only guy hitting well for the Braves this season. Freddie Freeman, Ryan Flaherty and Nick Markakis are all hitting over .300 through the first month of the season. Ozzie Albies has been flexing his muscle with nine home runs and 20 RBIs which leads the Braves.

The Braves pitching has also lead them to their strong April. Folty and Brandon McCarthy both hold ERAs below 3.25 and McCarthy leads the team with four of their wins. The bullpen has been lead by Arodys Vizcaino, Shane Carle and Dan Winkler, who all have ERAs under 1.50. The team has 16 wins but only has four saves, three by Vizcaino.

Matchups to Lookout For

Freddie Freeman vs. Noah Syndergaard 5-12 (.417)

Jose Lobaton vs. Julio Teheran 7-23 (.304)

Nick Markakis vs. Jason Vargas 5-28 (.179)

Juan Lagares vs. Julio Teheran 4-21 (.191)

Interesting Stats

Freddie Freeman vs. Mets 147-533 (.309) 20 HR 86 RBI

Jacob deGrom vs. Braves 5-3 1.99 ERA 77 IP 84 K

 

New York Mets Series Preview: Atlanta Braves (4/19-4/22)

After their first series loss of 2018, the New York Mets will head to Suntrust Park to take on the Atlanta Braves. In 2017, the Mets won the season series 12-7 and will have to do the same with the Braves within an arm’s distance of first place. This year’s Braves team features a lot of young and new players to go along with Freddie Freeman and Julio Teheran.

Probable Pitching Matchups:

(4/19 7:35 PM) Matt Harvey (0-1, 4.80) vs. Anibal Sanchez (1-0, 1.29)

(4/20, 7:35 PM) Noah Syndergaard (2-0, 2.95) vs. Sean Newcomb (1-1, 4.02)

(4/21, 7:10 PM) Jacob deGrom (2-0, 3.24) vs. Julio Teheran (1-1, 5.40)

(4/22, 1:35 PM) Zack Wheeler (1-1, 2.77) vs. TBA

The Mets sit in first place after what has been a surprising start for most people. What can be a cause for concern is Manager Mickey Callaway has used more relievers in a 16 game span than any manager has before. His move to pull Jacob deGrom with 103 pitches in the eight sparked a comeback for the Nationals, which eventually won them the game. deGrom and Syndergaard are the only two pitchers that can consistently go deep into games and hopefully Callaway will trust his aces more.

The Braves have a very respectable 10-7 record to start the season. The Braves lineup has a real nice punch to it this season, lead by upstarts Dansby Swanson and Ozzie Albies. The acquisition of Preston Tucker has worked out so far this season as he leads the team with 13 RBIs. Mike Foltynewicz has started to come into his own and Anibal Sanchez has started the season strong with a 1.29 ERA in three games. This team is certainly on its way up after years of losing seasons.

Matt Harvey struggled his last two times out after a dominant first start of the season against the Philadelphia Phillies. With Jason Vargas on his way back, there is no guarantee that Harvey will keep his spot upon his return. The end of Spring Training does not mean pitchers stop earning their turn in the rotation. If a pitcher struggles, there will be someone who is ready to replace him.

Julio Teheran had a rough season in 2017 and still has not rebounded this year. He struggled in his first start against the Nationals, allowing six runs, but put together two quality starts after. The biggest concern is that Teheran has not walked less three batters in any of those starts. His strikeout numbers are good but the walks hurt how deep he can go for the Braves.

Matchups to Lookout For

In a small sample size, Asdrubal Cabrera has hit .556 (5-9) against Sean Newcomb and a lot had to do with the strong 2017 he had batting right handed. In another small sample size matchup, Nick Markakis has hit .333 (3-9) against Noah Syndergaard. All the hits have been singles means Syndergaard has done a good job of not allowing Markakis to drive the ball.

Todd Frazier has struggled against Anibal Sanchez, hitting a measly .063 (1-16) against the veteran right hander. Throughout Matt Harvey’s many phases of his career, his dominance of Freddie Freeman has remained consistent. Freeman is hitting .192 (5-26) against Harvey, but all of his hits have gone for extra bases.

Interesting Stats

Zack Wheeler has had a lot of success in his career when he has face the Braves. He is 4-2 with a 2.94 in 49 innings against Atlanta. In a larger sample size, Julio Teheran has dominated the Mets since he broke into the big leagues. In 122 innings he has a 2.58 ERA with one shutout against the Mets.