While the Braves did manage to send Max Scherzer to the clubhouse with four runs on his line, Atlanta’s pitching staff was unable to keep New York quiet for a third night in a row. The Mets scored early and often in this one as they eventually won this game 9-7.
The early story in this game was Jake Odorizzi stumbling out of the gates. By the time Odorizzi had thrown seven pitches in this game, he had already given up more runs than he had outs on the board. Starling Marte and Francisco Lindor hit back-to-back dingers with one out to put the Mets ahead in a hurry. Odorizzi managed to make it out of that frame without giving up any more runs, but he was greeted rudely in the very next frame. Mark Canha led off the second with a double and then the debuting Brett Baty made this night one to remember as the first swing he took as a big leaguer resulted in a home run to make it 4-0 in favor of New York.
Just like that, the onus was now on the Braves to somehow dig themselves out of a hole against Max Scherzer. It was a tall task and Atlanta had a little bit of time to think about it as a rain shower delayed the game for a little bit. Once the delay ended, the Braves actually got things going a bit. Robbie Grossman got on with a walk and this was after Vaughn Grissom singled his way on base before the rain delay. Following a ground ball from Ronald Acuña Jr., Dansby Swanson hit one deep to center field. While it didn’t clear the fence, it was more than enough to bring in Grissom to put the Braves on the board.
From that point forward, things got pretty quiet for the Braves as Max Scherzer settled in. This was despite Brian Snitker getting tossed from the game after Austin Riley got called out on a very dubious strike call. Indeed, the three batters Scherzer sat down in the third inning were the first three of 13-straight Braves batters that Max sat down from the third until the seventh. While this was going on, the Mets added on a pair of runs in the sixth and seventh frame — Mark Canha doubled home Jeff McNeil to make it 5-1 and then Starling Marte led off the seventh inning by hitting a homer off of Kirby Yates that landed in the forest in center field. That was his second homer to land in that area and it was a critical sixth run for the Mets.
It ended up being critical because the Braves finally woke up in the seventh inning. Atlanta got things going with one out, as Eddie Rosario walked, William Contreras picked up an infield single after Max Scherzer failed to cleanly field a grounder and Michael Harris II also coaxed a walk out of Scherzer. Just like that, the future Hall-of-Famer was out of the game and the Braves had a golden opportunity to get back in the game. It was almost for naught as Adam Ottavino induced a ground ball from Vaughn Grissom that was seemingly destined to be turned into a double play. Fortunately, Grissom busted it down the line and was able to beat the throw to first in order to plate a run and extend the inning.
This ended up working out fantastically for the Braves, as Robbie Grossman took advantage of the opportunity and crushed one into the Chop House to bring the Braves within one run. While Ronald Acuña Jr. got caught stealing to end the inning, it felt like the Braves had renewed life after weathering the storm that was Max Scherzer.
Realizing that danger was afoot, the Mets decided to go to Edwin Diaz for what was potentially a six-out save. The first inning went great for the Mets, as Diaz had absolutely no problem carving up the middle of Atlanta’s order. It also didn’t help that the Mets scored three runs off of Jackson Stephens to get themselves back into a comfortable position. With the Mets back up by four runs, Diaz was no longer needed and the Braves found themselves with another mountain to climb.
The good news is that the Braves didn’t lay down against Trevor May. William Contreras singled (for his third hit of the night) with one out and then Michael Harris II hit a single to the fence that should’ve been a double. Fortunately, he stole second and then ended up making it home after Vaughn Grissom brought home both guys with a single to make it 9-7. Sadly, that was where the rally stopped as the Mets eventually made sure that the game ended at 9-7.
While Atlanta’s lineup showed up once again, this time the pitching staff didn’t live up to expectations. It also hurt that some interesting decisions were being made with regards to bullpen management. Losing a game where you were able to hang four runs on Max Scherzer is a bit of a bummer and while Jackson Stephens is a perfectly capable reliever, I can’t say that it was wise to go to him when it was a one-run game in the eighth inning. The Braves will have another mountain to climb tomorrow night, as Jacob deGrom will be making the start as the Mets are now in position to salvage a split from this series.