Mets 5 (and about 500 annoying soft hits), Braves 2

Well, this series obviously didn’t go particularly well. Mets pitching shut down the Braves again in a 5-2 win, taking four out of five in the series and ballooning their lead to 6 1/2 games in the NL East.

Jacob deGrom was taking just his second start since returning from yearlong injury. If you thought he was gonna be rusty, well….not so much. He was perfect through 5 2/3 innings before allowing a walk to Ehire Adrianza and a two-run homer to Dansby Swanson on the next batter. That was pretty much the Braves’ only rally of the night, and it wasn’t enough to catch up to the Mets, who scored four runs off Spencer Strider in 2 2/3 innings.

Everything fell apart for Strider in the third, keyed by the Mets’ very irritating penchant for blooping hits all over the place. An infield single by Brandon Nimmo, a bloop single to left by Francisco Lindor and a ground-ball double off the third-base bag got the inning started for the Mets, who now had a 2-0 lead. A Daniel Vogelbach walk and a Mark Canha double (on a ball that was actually hit hard, for a change) doubled the New York lead and chased Strider from the game. With deGrom pitching like he was, that meant the game was pretty much over. The home side added a fifth run on a wild pitch in the fifth after a leadoff double from Jeff McNeil.

So, what does this mean? Well, as I said, this wasn’t the way we wanted this to go. We’re now 6 1/2 games back and winning the division, while not out of the question, isn’t an especially likely prospect anymore. We’ve still got seven home games left with the Mets, so if we take a minimum of five of those games, that drops us back to needing to make up 3 1/2 games elsewhere. Six would make us only need to have to make up an extra game-and-a-half. But we’re talking about taking six of seven from a team that’s taken six of the last eight from us.

In any event, we’re still in good shape for the wild card race. We’re currently five ahead of Milwaukee for a playoff spot and three ahead of a tie between Philadelphia and San Diego for the second wild-card spot (the Padres have not been good this week despite everybody crowning them after the trade deadline the other day). So the playoffs are still well in sight. The Braves do have to put this series behind them quickly and get back to playing good baseball when they get to Boston on Tuesday. A four-gamer in Miami (over three days) follows next weekend before the Mets come to Truist Park for a four-game return engagement.

89 thoughts on “Mets 5 (and about 500 annoying soft hits), Braves 2”

  1. Thanks, Nick.

    A team simultaneously in a funk ran into a buzzsaw. Unfortunately, the buzzsaw is ahead of us in the division, so that’s a double whammy.

    Just get TF away from the Mets, for crying out loud. And I can’t help but think they’re in the dog days of summer, and they’re just tired and struggling. I feel for these guys. Day off tomorrow, 2 @BOS, day off, 3 @MIA, then the Mets come to town again for 4 games. Got a little over a week to get out of this funk. Tromp and Contreras should probably get TdA from behind the plate a little bit. I almost wish TdA was hurt just a teensy bit more on that play so he could have gotten 10 days off. Get Ozuna out of the lineup a little more often. Ian to AAA was the right move. I know it’s wishful thinking, but I think we need Soroka both back and pitching well for this rotation to have a shot at the division.

  2. You’re never as good as you think you are when you’re winning and never as bad as you think you are when you’re losing. We can’t match the Mets starting pitching if they have a healthy deGrom (and maybe not even without a healthy deGrom), but we already knew that. A few uncharacteristic errors and bad bounces and replays of Alonso’s big toe cost us big time in this series.

    In the 2018 playoffs, we clearly had no right to be on the field with Dodgers…. they were better than we were up and down the lineup. You can’t say that about the Dodgers today, and you certainly can’t say it about the Mets, even as we clearly give them an edge in starting pitching, an edge that won’t be reversing any time soon.

    It’s gonna get better than this.

  3. I have to say that I agree with Chief that the Mets are a better team than we are right now. That doesn’t necessarily that they’ll be the better team at the end of the year or in the playoffs. Our pitching and hitting was almost flawless during our 14 game win streak. Let’s hope we can get close to that level at the right time again

  4. Atlanta 2 hits one hard 2 runs 19’Ks all soft
    New York 10 hits no HR’s some hard 5 runs
    Who won?

  5. The best way to be a “good” team is to have no bad players anywhere in the lineup. We’re running out 2 or 3 guys with negative WAR in almost every game. That’s not a playoff team.

    The bright side is that we may benefit from some mean-regression in a positive direction. The worrisome part for me is that it seems pretty unlikely that Riley and Swanson will be able to keep up their insanely good production from June/July.

  6. I keep reading how the Mets were lucky.
    Bullshit, the Braves got their ass kicked.
    If a player has yet to learn you can not tag someone out with a glove that has no ball in it, than they are stupid when it comes to the game of baseball. It also seems that many fans who think the Mets were lucky also suffer from equal stupidity.

  7. Braves are a team that hits the ball hard, or doesn’t hit the ball at all. They also walk their fair share and see more pitches than most. However, yesterday’s game highlighted a big problem with this offense. BABIP is a great measurement of luck, but it’s also flawed because of games like yesterday. Yes, the Mets BABIP’d the Braves to death, but they also put the ball in play a whole lot more than the Braves did.

    The Braves had 19 strikeouts, 1 walk, and 1 HR as a team, which means they had 8 balls put in play. If BABIP works the way it’s supposed to, that would give the Braves 2 or 3 hits in the game. They had 2.

    The Mets had 8 strikeouts and 3 walks as a team, which means they had 23 balls put in play. If BABIP works the way it’s supposed to, that would give the Mets 7-8 hits. They had 10.

    Even if the Mets carried an average BABIP, they’d have still won and that’s where the BABIP argument dies.

  8. Yeah, Mets whooped us, case closed.
    Strider, close your mouth.
    I feel like this Mets team will feed off of bulletin board material, they have an attitude about them I hate/admire.

  9. Even if the Mets carried an average BABIP, they’d have still won and that’s where the BABIP argument dies.

    I mean, it depends somewhat on how those hits are spaced out.

    I do agree, though, that the Mets are the better team right now, even without BABIP luck, C. B. Bucknor, etc. Their deadline moves and Scherzer/deGrom solidify that.

    Fortunately, it’s within the realm of possibility for Acuña to hit, Albies to return and hit and Ozuna to be left off the playoff roster, at the very least, in favor of even a marginally more productive bat…it feels like too much to hope for that Ozuna catches fire, yet look at how hard he hits the ball. Though I’m not optimistic, I’d love to be wrong about him.

    It’s entirely possible that we put it all together and peak at the right time (once again). To beat the Mets/Dodgers/Yankees/Astros as currently constructed, we’ll probably have to.

  10. You could make an argument that Scherzer/DeGrom (when he is healthy and ‘right’) is one of the best 1-2 punches maybe in a generation. It’s probably at least back to Maddux/Smoltz-Glavine, IMO.

  11. We know all too well that a Maddux/Glavine/Smoltz-caliber rotation doesn’t guarantee playoff success.

    The other thing about the Mets is that it’s always felt like this year has to be the year for them. So far, so good. But in 2023, Scherzer will be 38, and his workhorse days may be behind him. Marte will be 34; they probably will get market value out of him, though. deGrom, Edwin Diaz, Taijuan Walker, Chris Bassitt and Brandon Nimmo are all FAs. And the Mets will already have some $220M committed. They’re at around $260M right now.

    Seems like they can solve some of their position player challenges through their farm, but still. If I were them, I’d be feeling the pressure.

  12. Scherzer/deGrom is better than anything we’ve ever run out there. It’s like running peak Smoltz out there in back-to-back games. That said, yes we all know first hand that nothing is a given and you can still lose 1-0 or 2-1 or something no matter who’s on the mound.

  13. The Mets have some magnificent frontline talent, and I hope Scherzer and DeGrom stay healthy the rest of the way and we beat them every next time we face them. What impressed me the most about this year’s Mets team is their approach at the plate. They’re all just pesky as hell, and they don’t beat themselves like they used to. But they’re also not juggernauts. They’re just a good team.

    So are we. I’d take our 25 guys over their 25 guys, top to bottom. And when Ronald gets off the schneid, this team is going to be a holy terror. Especially if Huascar can rediscover the magic he had last year.

  14. If any of our post season hopes rest on Ynoa rediscovering his magic, I’m afraid we need to hang it up now. The guy had a 5.63 ERA at Gwinnett. I was looking for positive trends over the last 4 or 5 starts, but couldn’t find any.

  15. For the record, Putter called the results of that series exactly, and I was substantially off in saying we’d win it.

  16. While I am aware that one can wish in one hand and spit in the other and see which one fills up first, I also saw Huascar last year. As Ron Shandler says, when a player displays a skill, he owns it. It’s somewhere in there.

    That said, I don’t think our success this year remotely depends on him — it depends on Ronald, Riley, Dansby, Olson, same as always. Ynoa’s an afterthought. He’d be a real nice to have, is all. Same with Muller.

  17. The idea that we’re not a playoff team as currently constituted is pretty much a joke. I would invite someone thinking this to take a look around the league and then take a look at the number of wild card teams.

  18. The Braves had a fantastic two month run and will be fine overall. The Mets are good this year and as mentioned, have the best 1-2 punch in baseball. Sure unfortunate to lose four games against the Mets but the Braves will be fine and will get into the playoffs. From there, anything can happen.

  19. The Mets have had a lot of things go right for them so far this year – in contrast to most seasons where they’re busy self-sabotaging to an unbelievable extent. Feels a bit like how everything went the Giants’ way last year (until it didn’t).

    I am happy to admit that the Mets have been slightly better than the Braves so far this season, but I firmly believe that the Braves have a better roster (and a much brighter future). The Mets’ offense really isn’t that great and while DeGrom and Scherzer are an amazing top 2 in a rotation, I’d give 50/50 odds that both are healthy by the time the playoffs roll around.

  20. @25

    If by “wild card and out” you mean losing in the wild card series to the Padres or Phillies, I don’t agree. If you mean losing to the Dodgers in the Division Series, I come closer to agreement…maybe. However, I’m still gonna wave my hand in the general direction of JF’s crapshoot theory.

  21. We’re a playoff team with a healthy Albies and RAJ returning to form in the final couple of months. It’s not like that’s a lock though. Losing Duvall hurts, and the schedule isn’t super favorable. I’d say playoffs vs not is a coin flip right now.

    I want to keep smoking that hopium that gets us some Mike Soroka starts in September, but things have been awfully quiet on that front.

  22. @30 – We are the top Wild Card team right now. Even after the dismal series with the Mets we are 3 games ahead of Philadelphia for the 1st wildcard spot and 4 games ahead of everyone else. I’d say we are definitely a playoff team if RAJ keeps heading in the right direction. I’m not really counting on much from Albies. He was a disappointment before he was hurt. Getting value from him this year for the playoff run is definitely not a given.

    As you note, Soroka would be a great bonus, but his return to usefulness shouldn’t be expected this year. Otoh, a rotation with a healthy Soroka, Fried, Wright, and Strider next year could be the best we’ve had in several years.

  23. I see one of the Braves pitchers who didn’t get out of the third inning is claiming the Mets were lucky. Learn how to pitch, than you will be given some luck. Being a cry baby will bring not only zero luck, but also no Kleenex’s.

  24. Alright, this is the stuff on which MVP candidacies are made.

  25. What in the hell has even been up with umpires the last week?

    And I very much look forward to EdK calling me a freaking loser for daring to point out bad umpiring calls as a fan.

  26. Man…Ozuna is so bad. It shouldn’t matter how much he is getting paid if he is a detriment to the team. No reason he should be the DH

  27. Was ozuna’s first strike swinging really 10 inches outside like GameCast said? After the previous 2 batters saw one 3 inch inside strike and one strike in about10 pitches? Really?

  28. Hell yeah!!!

    Also, not that I’m complaining, but all three balls to Dansby were called strikes in previous at-bats. Don’t get me wrong, all were balls…but I’m kind of gobsmacked that the ump didn’t ring him up on any of them.

  29. (Also, Marcell Ozuna at the plate is the equivalent of Satchel Paige ordering his outfielders to sit down.)

  30. Somebody needs to teach our pitchers how not to hang a slider. We throw a lot of spinners out over the plate

  31. I don’t know that I’d have been so quick to remove Minter from the game. I know Iglesias is the Setup Man and Jansen is the Closer and all, but Minter ripped apart that one guy he faced.

  32. Well, the umpire’s rediscovered his poor depth perception. Middle of the plate and above the knees! You kidding me???

  33. Some people obviously pay no attention to what I say. Not that I blame you. So please allow me to help you out. I AGREE the umpires stink. Never said different. But that is not good or bad luck. They stink for both teams. They are possibly as bad as Snit’s managing of the pitching staff.
    Actually they may be worse. Those of you who think the umpires can not get worse, watch the Little League World Series.
    One more thing for those whom are paying attention. BOTH TEAMS are allowed to say WHAT IF. Not just one.
    Off topic I love Andrew McCutchen. His grandfather is a customer of mine. Andrew is very active with the children in his neighborhood in Florida. A very good man.

    Criticize someone for voicing displeasure with the umpires and instant replay. I have no idea how one would think that.
    Kindly point out how you arrived at that assumption. Please.
    Thank you
    Send to baysbestbev@tampabay.rr.com

  34. Also would someone be so kind to tell why Milwaukee traded one of the elite closers?
    Thank you.

  35. Michael Harris batting 9th makes no sense whatsoever to me. Hopefully he can get an AB this inning.

  36. Ozuna hit that ball hard but.. he is 5 for his last 45 AB’s .. . .100 .. he has got to sit . Grossman and Rosario alternate DH and LF .. pitiful .. and we gotta pay him 2 more years at 16 mil .. worst contract ever negotiated by AA .. dont we have anybody on the farm that can do better .. im ready to DH Fried against RH pitchers

  37. This is an insanely stupid shift. I reserve the right to complain if he punches it through the right side.

    @65: If so, worth it.

  38. Well Taylor Motter on the way to Boston from Gwinnett …to play 2B … Yates back .. Stephen’s down ?

  39. @68

    Either Motter or Braden Shewmake, I’d guess. Either would have to be added to the 40-man. I just counted the 40-man by hand and counted 39, so if I didn’t miscount (a distinct possibility) we might be able to both call up the infielder and activate Yates (who will also require a new 40-man spot) by simply moving Duvall to the 60-day. In terms of the active roster, I’d definitely send Ynoa back before dropping Stephens. Or in terms of 2B, maybe we get lucky and somebody interesting comes across the waiver wire.

    @69 is not happening.

  40. Well, his baserunning certainly hasn’t taken a dip. Wow! That’s twice today he’s done something like that!

  41. Given that Shewmake was knocked out and had to be carted off the field after colliding with Demeritte a couple days ago, it’s not gonna be him.

  42. @77

    Ah, didn’t know that. Fair enough. That sucks.

    In that case, I’d say Motter and Yates up, Ynoa down, Duvall to 60-day IL. That waiver wire’s starting to look pretty good if a 2B is on there.

  43. @77 Isn’t Valaika still there? Is seems like someone with MLB experience would be the better call up anyway.

  44. TYLER NUTZACK!

    I don’t know how much we needed this one, but I know we needed this one.

  45. Gritty win. Maybe that ignites a streak this week.

    Adrianza can play a shitty 2B as well as any of the other bad options. Waiver deal incoming?

  46. Good game.
    Good night.
    It’s always a pleasure.
    Very good articles in the WSJ and New York Times on the Mets

    Austin Riley is a ball player. He knows and loves the game. He puts the team first. I never thought he would be this good.
    Arcia has also done things I was not expecting. Good on both of them.
    Than there is the joke batting eighth.
    What an embarrassment. He is not a man.

  47. Pitching to Austin Riley with a base open there was a gift. Thank you Boston.

    So…if Grissom is more talented than the rest of our options (seems likely), then there’s really no downside to having him fill in for a couple weeks until Albies is hopefully back, is there?

  48. @69 – I had the same thought about calling up Grissom. He probably hasn’t had quite enough minor league experience, but his age is in line with Acuna (20), Albies (20) and Harris (21) when they were called up. He’s actually 2 months older than Harris. He had an .891 ops at Rome and his ops at Mississippi is .888. Walk rate is a little down, but his obp has hovered at just over 400 since he signed in 2019. I don’t think he’s ready, but I thought the same thing about Harris and I was dead wrong.

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