Well, at least the Braves weren’t shut out...
After drawing first blood thanks to an Ozzie Albies RBI single in the top of the third, the Braves yielded seven unanswered runs to the Mets, dropping their third straight game to their division rivals. The loss dropped them to 7-12 against the Mets to close out the season series.
The game was fairly uneventful until the third inning. Lane Adams led off with an infield single to shortstop, took second on a sacrifice bunt, moved to third on a groundout by Ender Inciarte, and then scored the game’s first run as Albies looped a liner to right field. Albies then stole second (his second steal of the day, after also singling and stealing second in the first inning), but was stranded at second when Freddie Freeman hit a grounder back to the pitcher.
Sean Newcomb was really good through three innings, facing just one batter over the minimum and collecting four punchouts in the process. Poor control and poor defense blemished his start in the fourth, though. Newcomb walked the leadoff man, allowed a single to put runners on first and third, and then was let down big time by Dansby Swanson flubbing a sure double play ball, allowing the Mets to tie the game. Newcomb then bore down, getting a groundout, a strikeout, walking Travis Taijeron, and then eliciting a first pitch fly out from Matt Reynolds.
The Braves loaded the bases with three singles in the top of the fifth, hoping to untie the game, but Freddie Freeman struck out against New York starter Robert Gsellman. That opened the door for the Mets, who struck twice against Newcomb in the bottom of the inning. Newcomb issued another leadoff walk, this time to the opposing pitcher, and then allowed another single. He battled back to get two outs thanks to a strikeout and a groundout that advanced the runners, but Travis d’Arnaud hit a grounder up the middle to score both runners and give the Mets a 3-1 advantage. After another single and a strikeout, Newcomb ended his night. His final line: five innings, four hits, three runs (all earned), four walks, and seven strikeouts.
With the score not in their favor, the Braves turned to the soft underbelly of their bullpen, which quickly pushed the game into “avert thine eyes, child” territory. Jason Motte managed to pitch a scoreless sixth despite two walks, but Jim Johnson was not so lucky in the seventh, as Freddie Freeman followed a Johnson’s two-out walk with a fielding error on an easy roller, setting up a monster three-run homer by Dominic Smith. Johnson was pulled after another walk and single, and Ian Krol added another run to his ledger by allowing a double to the first man he faced. Matt Wisler then repeated Jason Motte’s performance by hurling a scoreless inning despite allowing two walks, but the damage was done.
Offensively, the Braves once again managed to not do much of anything. Gsellman cruised through six innings, allowing just the lone run on six hits and a walk while striking out four. The Braves got lone hits in the eighth and ninth, but didn’t manage to advance a batter to second after the fourth, and went down very quietly.
Ozzie Albies collected three hits in the losing effort, while Lane Adams, starting for Nick Markakis in right field, chipped in two of his own. Freddie Freeman and Jace Peterson each went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. The Braves head to Miami for their final series of the season. Tomorrow’s game features Julio Teheran in his last start of 2017 against scheduled Marlins starter Dillon Peters.