Well, I would certainly not like to be in the Mets clubhouse after that one.
The Braves are only going to get to play 60 regular season games this season, but that game had enough drama on its own to make up for the missing 102 games. What a game, and there’s a lot to talk about with it.
- How much fun was that? Before I even get into breaking down any finer points of the game, let’s just marvel at the win itself. Games like that are why we watch, and why we spent four months craving to get this back. The Braves have pulled this off fairly frequently given how tough it is to do, from the 7-2 comeback against the Phillies last year to pulling back a 9-3 deficit against the Marlins in 2018. But never take a win like that for granted, and especially not in a season as topsy-turvy as this.
- Travis d’Arnaud. What else can you say? A five RBI night against his old team, a game-winning hit with all the pressure on him in the eighth and nine solid innings behind the plate. He even stole a base for the first time since 2014. At his current pace of one stolen base every 251 games, he will need to play just 352,655 more games—or in other words he needs to keep a Cal Ripken iron man streak going until the year 4196—to break Rickey Henderson’s all-time record. I think he’s got it in him.
- Make it 11 RBIs in eight games for Dansby Swanson. Don’t let his RBI hits in the sixth and eighth get lost in the shuffle. Those were huge, and both great opposite field swings. Chip Caray used to use the phrase “hotter than a dancing bobcat” to describe players on a good run but that doesn’t feel strong enough. We need to come up with a new catchphrase for Dansby, because he has surpassed dancing bobcat territory. He might have an NL Player of the Week award with his name on it come Monday.
- Tyler Matzek and Grant Dayton both came up big when it looked like a lost cause . Dayton especially was able to bear down and get outs on Brandon Nimmo and Pete Alonso with a man on base in the eighth to keep the game in striking distance.
- You know what was the best play of the game you forgot? In the top of the fifth with the Mets up 7-2, Robinson Cano hit a base hit to right. Michael Conforto scored from third, but Yoenis Cespedes was held up. Why? Because Ronald Acuña Jr. threw a laser home. It would have been easy for Ronald to feel a little disengaged at that point with his personal struggles at the plate and the game seemingly way out of reach, but he made a great throw home to save a run. And as it turned out, that moment launched the comeback.
- The Braves drew five walks after falling behind 8-2, and all five were cashed in for runs. Cha-ching.
- The Braves are now on top of the NL East standings, and the Mets are in the basement. Hopefully Chipper Jones finds a way to work that into his broadcast notes for Sunday Night Baseball if the standings haven’t changed by then.
- Alright, unfortunately we do have to address the elephant in the room. I’m only going to go with one negative for a win like that, but it’s an important one so I’m going to take my time.
The crazy comeback was only necessitated because Brian Snitker rolled a dice to see how many runs he could spot the Mets with his bullpen management, and the number came up at seven.
It’s not even really a knock on Chacin to say he had no business being in the game at this point. He knows he’s here mostly for long relief and mop-up duty. He was only been allowed to pitch once in the first seven games, and it was the 14-1 win on Sunday.
On May 25, 2018 at Fenway Park, Snitker let a struggling Matt Wisler face Mookie Betts with the Braves trailing 3-2 in the seventh and a man on base. Unsurprisingly, Betts deposited one over the green monster. After the game when asked about the decision he said, “I didn’t want to use (Dan) Winkler and all them (high leverage) guys when we were ahead. We may win the next two games.”
The point of this long-winded story is Snitker didn’t trust his offense to make a comeback down 3-2 two years ago, and still doesn’t now. He treated a one-run deficit like an 11-run deficit tonight. And that’s not an exaggeration. He handed the ball to the same guy he handed it to in an actual 11-run game five days ago. Even after Chacin had faced the required three batters, it was still a manageable 5-2 deficit. But Snitker kept him in the game well beyond 5-2. Chacin gave up three more runs in the inning and two more after the offense cut the deficit in half.
It didn’t matter tonight. But at some point, Snitker is going to have to adapt his bullpen management to manage tight deficits the same way he manages tight leads, because this offense is capable of digging out of a hole if the game is still in reach.
Former Brave Of The Day:
One year ago to the day, Travis Demeritte was traded from Atlanta to Detroit as part of the deal that made Shane Greene a Brave. To celebrate one year in the Motor City, he checked into a game for the first time this season and immediately picked up a pinch-hit two-run double to help the Tigers beat the Reds.
Quote Of The Game:
“It’s ain’t over till it’s over.”;
As fun as that comeback was, not falling into a six-run hole would be better.