The Braves jumped out to a big lead over Robert Gsellman and the Mets and never looked back as they stopped their losing streak at six games — makes you wonder if the Mets regret not skipping Gsellman’s start and giving tonight’s game to Noah Syndegaard instead, doesn’t it?
New York’s misfortune was Atlanta’s gain, as they cruised to a 5-0 score after just one half-inning of play. Gsellman walked Ender Inciarte on five pitches and then gave up a full-count single to Brandon Phillips to put runners at the corners. Phillips then did something ill-advised (trying to steal second base ahead of Freddie Freeman) and was thrown out, but that was only a temporary setback. Freeman walked, and Matt Kemp opened the scoring with a single to right field. Nick Markakis followed with an opposite field single of his own, scoring Freddie Freeman (who was initially called out on a play at the plate, but quickly gestured to the dugout to initiate replay review, which was overturned in the Braves’ favor). After Adonis Garcia reached on a swinging bunt and poor throw from Gsellman to load the bases, Tyler Flowers promptly unloaded them with a first-pitch double down the right field line, clearing the bases and cementing the five-spot.
Julio Teheran took over from there and largely cruised until the fourth inning. He issued a leadoff walk to Asdrubal Cabrera and then consecutive singles to load the bases with none out, but was able to limit the damage by coaxing a deep sacrifice fly from Neil Walker, a pop-up in the shallow outfield from Curtis Granderson, and then a routine flyout from Travis d’Arnaud to yield just one run to the home team.
The Braves got that run right back in the top of the fifth, as Tyler Flowers collected his fourth RBI of the night with the third of three straight singles to open the inning. That ended Gsellman’s night with an unfortunate line: four innings, six runs (five earned), ten hits, three walks, and just two strikeouts.
Atlanta pushed across yet more runs in the seventh: Dansby Swanson reached on a groundball that only moved a few feet away from the plate (and was hit too weakly to be captured by Statcast, apparently), was bunted to second, and scored on a deep drive from Ender Inciarte that ended up being a double but might have been a homer at SunTrust Park. Jace Peterson (in the game because Brandon Phillips departed with a groin strain in the second inning) hit a grounder through the right side to score Inciarte and give the Braves their eighth run.
The Mets finally chased Teheran with two groundball singles and a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the inning. His final line: six and a third innings, two runs, four hits, four walks, four strikeouts. Not the best line, but more than enough to get the job done tonight, and he did a great job of working out of trouble when it descended upon him. Eric O’Flaherty closed out the seventh without further drama. Matt Wisler, making his 2017 Atlanta Braves debut, pitched two scoreless innings (one hit, no walks, no strikeouts) to close out the game.
Every Braves starter managed at least one hit; the second through seventh spots in the order recorded at least two hits each. Despite the 16-hit outburst, the Braves managed just two extra-base hits, both doubles, and Freddie Freeman reached base three times without driving in a run. Nick Markakis went 3-for-4 with a walk, drove in a run, and scored twice. Dansby Swanson continued to scuffle, reaching base only on the aforementioned barely-moving grounder hit and as a result of a forceout that turned into a throwing error.
The Braves and Mets wrap up this rain-shortened series tomorrow afternoon. The Braves won’t get away without facing Syndergaard in this series, as he squares off against R.A. Dickey.