It was a wet night at Truist Park Monday night, but it was a fun night for the home team. Kicking off the biggest four-game series of the season, the Braves offense exploded for 13 runs on 15 hits and 8 extra base-hits, and combined with a strong outing from Spencer Strider, obliterated the Mets in the series opener.
The fun started in the second inning when William Contreras led off the inning with a massive home run to center-field, his 16th of the season, to give the Braves a 1-0 lead.
That score would last exactly one more batter as Eddie Rosario immediately followed that with line drive over the right field wall, his 4th home run of the season, and the offense was off and running.
Later that same inning, Michael Harris II reached base via a fielders choice after Travis d’Arnaud was hit by a pitch, and then scored after Ronald Acuña Jr hit what seem to be a routine fly ball to left fielder Mark Cahana. Canha apparently lost the ball in the sky or in the lights but it dropped about 20 feet behind where he was standing and Harris scurried home as Acuña cruised into second base with an RBI double and the Braves led 3-0.
The bad news is that we are currently in a rain delay.— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) August 16, 2022
The good news is that before it started raining this happened: pic.twitter.com/Wsln5ceNsx
After that, the rains came. Play was halted with Acuña on 2nd and Dansby Swanson at the plate with two outs in the inning. About an hour long rain delay followed, and what was a surprise to many, both starting pitchers, Carlos Carrasco and Spencer Strider, remained in the game once play resumed.
For Carrasco, it was a short return, as he only pitched the rest of the second inning, and then left game with side discomfort. Mets turned to their bullpen for the rest of the night, and that's where things went from bad to worse. In the fourth inning, rookie sensation Vaughn Grissom led things off with line drive single to left, and then advanced all the way to third with some heads-up base running on a Harris ground out to third. Acuña drove him in with a line-drive double to the left-center field gap, giving Acuña his second RBI double of the night and making the score 4-0. Swanson followed with an RBI single to make it 5-0, and the Braves were rolling.
After the Mets scored their only run of the game in the top of fifth, the Braves delivered the fatal blow in the bottom of the sixth with what seemed like and endless onslaught. d’Arnaud started the inning by reaching on an error, followed by a Grissom walk and a Harris RBI single to push the score to 6-1. Acuña then came up and delivered his third RBI double of the game, a laser to right-center field that scored Grissom and moved Harris the third.
Swanson then followed with a 2-run single to a make it 9-0 and it was time for the Mets to make another pitching change. Austin Riley greeted new reliever Mychal Givens with a single of his own, and then Matt Olson decided to get in on the fun with RBI single of his own to the push the Braves into double-digit runs. Two batters later the final nail in the coffin was hammered by d’Arnaud, who launched a 3-run home run to left, capping an 8-run sixth inning and giving the Braves a 13-1 lead.
Spencer Strider meanwhile pitched a fantastic game, especially considering he was interrupted by both an hour long rain delay, but also at times by the fact that his offense kept having extended inning themselves, though I'm sure the latter didn’t bother him much. Strider ended up going 5 innings total, 3 of which came after the rain delay and when the game was still a contest. He allowed 3 hits total, two of them infield hits, and 1 run in 5 innings, striking out 4.
Strider covering those innings after the rain delay was a big deal at the beginning of a 4-game series, as he kept the Mets’ hitters at bay long enough for the offense to explode, and allowed manager Brian Snitker the opportunity to use lower leverage options to finish out the game and the put the team in a strong position for the rest of the series. Only two additional relievers where used to finish out the game, a scoreless inning and a third from Colin Mchugh and a scoreless two and two-thirds innings from newcomer Danny Young, who closed out the game.
With the win, the Braves have won 7 games in a row and improve their record 71-46. They also shaved a full game off the Mets division lead and now trail New York by 4.5 games in the NL East. Braves continue their 4-game series with New York tomorrow night as Charlie Morton takes on Taijuan Walker at 7:20 ET at Truist Park.