For seven innings, the Atlanta Braves played quite well on Friday night. Julio Teheran strung together a quality performance, the offense did enough to put the team in good position for a skid-halting victory and the New York Mets played their part with some ineptitude along the way. Then, the eighth inning happened.
Mauricio Cabrera entered the game in the eighth with Atlanta leading 4-2 and, in short order, the home team was no longer winning. Cabrera faced seven batters, recording only one out (though one error was committed), and when he exited, the Braves trailed 5-4. Moments later, the Mets added an insurance run and that was, effectively, the end of that on the way to the final margin of 6-4.
In flashing back to the beginning of the night, everything set up well for Teheran. The right-hander entered the evening with a 24-inning active scoreless streak against the Mets, and Teheran quickly extended that to 29.2 frames before issuing a two-run home run to Curtis Granderson in the sixth.
It wasn’t “peak” Teheran in that he struck out only three while issuing two walks and giving up four hits in six innings, but he did more than enough to win. In fact, his escape from a bases loaded jam in the first inning set the tone for what appeared to be a winning path, but in the end, his performance went for naught.
Offensively, the Braves were productive over the first half of the contest. Matt Kemp led off the scoring with a blast in the second inning, and the fifth frame was a fruitful one for Atlanta. Adonis Garcia brought home Dansby Swanson with a two-out single, and after Freddie Freeman and Kemp both reached base, Nick Markakis broke the game open with a two-run single to stake Brian Snitker’s team to a 4-0 lead.
After Teheran gave up the aforementioned home run to Granderson, though, the Braves had two opportunities to add insurance and failed on both occasions. The bottom of the sixth inning featured a leadoff single from Jace Peterson and an infield single from Swanson that allowed Peterson to reach third base with nobody out. Unfortunately, A.J. Pierzynski strolled to the plate and struck out, and that was followed by an untimely double play from Ender Inciarte to end the threat.
Later, the Braves placed two runners on base in the seventh before going down in order and that turned out to be the most serious threat of offense from that point forward. Swanson reached with a hard-hit single in the eighth with nothing else coming together, and in the ninth inning, Atlanta wasted a leadoff double from Garcia despite Tyler Flowers coming to the plate as the potential winning run with two outs.
All told, it was a solid night for Julio Teheran, an excellent offensive performance from Dansby Swanson (3-for-3 with a walk and a run scored) and a thoroughly unimpressive final result. The current losing streak stands at four and the Atlanta Braves will look to break back into the win column on Saturday evening when the same two teams meet again.