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Braves use familiar formula, homers and pitching to take down Max Scherzer and the Mets

The Braves use the same strategy that won them the World Series last year, great pitching and moon shots, to take the first two games against the Mets.

New York Mets v Atlanta Braves Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

Behind a solid start from Kyle Wright, the top of the lineup, and a terrific 4-inning, scoreless outing from the bullpen, the Braves beat Max Scherzer and the Mets and took the second game of The Series of the Year to grab a 1-game lead in the NL East for the first time this season.

The game definitely didn’t start the way Wright or the Braves wanted. He threw 17 pitches before he recorded his first out and threw 30 pitches total in the first inning after loading the bases and giving up the first run of the game. But give the 26-year-old, who turns 27 tomorrow, all the credit in the world for settling in and giving the Braves 5-innings with only two earned runs allowed. The game could've gotten out of hand very early and Wright made sure that didn’t happen and gave his offense time to work.

And work the offense did. It was apparent from the first inning that the Braves were seeing Scherzer well at the plate. Even though it was a 1-2-3 inning, the first included three well-struck balls that happened to find gloves and very little swing-and-miss from Scherzer. The Braves were clearly taking comfortable at-bats.

The score remained 1-0 Mets until the fourth inning when Austin Riley led the inning off with a double, bringing the red-hot Matt Olson up to the plate. Olson beat the shift with a ground-ball single right where the shortstop would be standing to drive in Riley and tie the game 1-1.

After Wright gave up his second run of the night in the top of the fifth, the offense came back out in the bottom half, and picked up where they left off in the fourth. After Ronald Acuna Jr led off with a bloop single, Dansby Swanson absolutely destroyed a ball to left-center field for a 2-run homer, his second in two nights, and gave the Braves their first lead of the night at 3-2.

The top of the order wasn’t done with their contributions for the evening as Matt Olson came back up to plate in the bottom of the sixth. With Scherzer on the ropes and clearly tiring, Matt Olson hit the second pitch of the inning, an 0-1 hanging change-up, out to right field for his second homer in as many nights, and gave Atlanta a 4-2 lead, one they'd never relinquish.

The reason the lead would never be relinquished is because the Braves’ bullpen came in and completely shut the door on the game. Dylan Lee, Jesse Chavez, Rasiel Iglesias, and Kenley Jansen each pitched a scoreless inning and the four pitchers gave up a total of 1 baserunner, Brandon Nimmo reaching on an error by Orlando Arcia in the seventh, and that was it. After the Olson homer, the Mets went quickly and quietly into the night.

With the win, the Braves finally have a full game lead in the NL East, the first time they've had that all season, and now need one more win against the Mets tomorrow to take the crucial head-to-head series, which serves as the tiebreaker for the division. A win tomorrow also means the Braves would be a full 2-games clear of the Mets AND hold the tiebreaker, giving the Braves the overwhelming odds of winning the division with 3 games left to play. Game 3 is the Sunday Night Baseball game tomorrow night with Charlie Morton facing Chris Bassitt, first pitch at 7:08 ET.

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