clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Touki Toussaint shines in Braves lopsided win over Mets

Toussaint was magnificent.

MLB: New York Mets at Atlanta Braves Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets and Braves were back at it on Saturday night after New York was able to take the first two games of the series rather convincingly.

The game began sluggish and that was pretty much the story of the night for this one. Sean Newcomb struggled through a scoreless first inning, pitching around a double and walk. The same could not be said for Mets starter Jason Vargas who was only able to record a single out before being forced out of the game with nearly 40 pitches thrown.

After Ozzie Albies and Josh Donaldson reached to begin the night Ronald Acuna Jr. sent a ball through the left side of the infield for an early RBI to give the Braves a 1-0 lead. Then Vargas re-loaded the bases with just one out for Dansby Swanson who forced in another run via a walk which forced the Mets to turn to Corey Oswalt in relief.

Oswalt did not find much more success as he immediately surrendered a 2-RBI single to Johan Camargo, but was finally able to get out of the inning while limiting the damage to four runs after getting rookie Alex Jackson to ground out.

The Braves were feeling good, but that feeling quickly went away as Sean Newcomb proceeded to give back all four runs in the top of the very next frame. Three straight Mets reached to begin the inning and two men scored thanks to a hard hit groundball through the left side that resulted in Juan Lagares reaching second base with nobody out and with the lead just 4-2. The relief pitcher, Oswalt, brought in the next run with a sacrifice fly and the game was tied by a Jeff McNeil single.

With only one out in the second inning, and no end in sight, the Braves opted to pull Newcomb in favor of the newly returned Touki Toussaint out of the bullpen. This decision would prove to be the one that completely changed this game, and maybe will change the entire course of this season.

Toussaint was astounding to say the least. He picked up the slack for Newcomb, who is now a candidate to be sent down to Gwinnett to figure some things out, and he carried the game into the eighth inning to save Atlanta a ton of trouble in the bullpen.

As Toussaint was holding the Mets scoreless, the Braves were doing damage against their tandem of relievers. After posting four runs in the first inning they came right back with four more in the bottom of the second to support Touki. After a walk to Albies, Josh Donaldson hit a ringing double to the wall in right field which very nearly left the yard, but instead put runners on second and third for Freddie Freeman who broke the tie with a screaming single to center.

Then, Acuna snuck another grounder through to left field to score Donaldson and the team wasn’t done there. The next batter was Nick Markakis who got a gift fastball right down the middle and hit a laser beam double to right center field to score Freeman. Dansby Swanson put a bow on the second four run inning of the game by bringing in Acuna on a slow grounder to shortstop to put Atlanta up 8-4.

Surprisingly, the third inning actually went by without a score, but the Braves got right back to it in the fourth inning, adding onto the lead via a Nick Markakis solo shot that took some bricks out of the chophouse in right field.

After that it wasn’t until the Mets changed pitchers again, turning to old friend Luis Avilan, that the Braves scored again. In the bottom of the sixth Atlanta broke through to double digits after Freddie Freeman singled, advanced to third on a throwing error by the Mets catcher, and was singled home by Swanson.

Then, in the bottom of the seventh, the Braves capped off their high scoring night with Donaldson’s first Atlanta home run that made the score 11-4, and shut the door on this one.

For as good as the offense was in tonight’s game the biggest story of the night was Touki Toussaint who gave the Braves six strong innings in relief, striking out seven Mets and allowing just a single (unearned) run.

That run came after he left the game in favor of Chad Sobotka who got a ground ball to first base which found Freddie Freeman who committed a rare error overthrowing the ball to second base allowing Travis d’Arnaud to score which brought the tally to 11-5 Braves.

The final couple of runs were allowed by Sobotka in the top of the ninth after the game wasn’t in doubt anymore. Sobotka got a quick ground out, but was bitten after walking Pete Alonso who came home to score after a Dominic Smith double and Brandon Nimmo bloop single. D’Arnaud brought in the Mets seventh and final run on a grounder to make the final score 11-7.

It’s hard to say any one player was the most important offensively in tonight’s game, as each of the first seven batters (aside from Swanson who only had one) had two hits apiece. Swanson led the team with three RBI and the 4-5-6-7 hitters in the Atlanta lineup combined for 9 of the 11 RBI in tonight’s game.

Toussaint is a strong candidate to return to the Braves rotation after they sent down Kyle Wright earlier this week to get some more development time in the minors. The current rotation is composed of Teheran, Gausman, Fried and Newcomb. Things could change before the next time around, but Mike Foltynewicz is expected to return soon. That paired with the lack of command improvement by Sean Newcomb this season leaves the door wide open to the rotation.

Definitely keep an eye out for news regarding that situation. For tonight though, the Braves were able to stomp the Mets thanks to thirteen combined hits from the top seven batters in the lineup along with a tremendous effort by Toussaint. Stay tuned.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Battery Power Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Atlanta Braves news from Battery Power