Charlie Morton needed a good start. He didn’t get one, but somehow, the Braves didn’t just win — they actively shut out the Mets. Go figure. Meanwhile, the offense did its thing, and the Braves cruised to an easy win against the Mets once again, dancing on their grave, as it were.
Seriously, folks, the Charlie Morton experience in this one was horrific. Morton’s final line: five innings, seven walks, four strikeouts... but somehow, zero runs. Here’s how:
- In the first, Morton issued a leadoff walk and a two-out walk, but struck out Daniel Vogelbach to escape.
- In the second, Morton gave up back-to-back singles to start the frame, then got a double play ball, then issued a walk, but then elicited a weak flyout from Brandon Nimmo.
- In the third, there were consecutive one-out walks, but another Vogelbach strikeout and an infield pop were the escape mechanism.
- The fourth featured another leadoff walk and two-out walk, and this time it was Francisco Alvarez’ turn to weakly fly out.
- The fifth was actually a 1-2-3 inning, helped by a diving Michael Harris II catch.
Morton was pulled after a leadoff single in the sixth, concluding an insane outing. It wasn’t really like he got lucky in the moment, as none of the would-be run-scoring hits with ducks on the pond were hit well. it was just this wholly surreal sequence where the Nimmo flyout and the Alvarez flyout were awful contact on terrible, grooved pitches.
Not that the Braves’ bullpen managed to keep a clean slate or anything, no way, not in this game. In the seventh, after Pierce Johnson actually went three up, three down in relief of Morton, Brad Hand went: single, double play, single off his foot, walk, another weak fly out to end it. Then Kirby Yates went single-walk-balk with two outs before getting a groundout to end it. Even A.J. Minter, pitching in a seven-run game for some reason with a doubleheader tomorrow, gave up a leadoff double, though he at least struck out the last two batters of the game.
On the offensive end, well, you know this offense. They broke through against Tylor Megill in the third, after seeing him and his increased velocity once through the order. Austin Riley had a one-out double to center, and Matt Olson followed with a strange flare into left that Riley didn’t advance to third on. Travis d’Arnaud then smashed basically a surefire hit if not for Nimmo’s inspired (lucky?) positioning in center, but it didn’t matter, because Marcell Ozuna’s weak tapper loaded the bases and Eddie Rosario unloaded them with a bloop that Nimmo kicked around, giving the Braves a 3-0 lead.
Michael Harris II and Ronald Acuña Jr. both reached to start the fourth, and came around to score on an Ozzie Albies single and a Riley sac fly. A d’Arnaud single and Rosario RBI double in the sixth chased Megill, and Riley later hit his 27th dinger of the year to cap the scoring at 7-0. The Braves had an absurd .338 xwOBA in this game, and somehow had three barreled outs out of four barrels, so really the Mets escaped with only a seven-run drubbing. Harris had two barreled out deep to center, which is a bummer for him.
The series continues with a doubleheader tomorrow, where the Mets will I guess try to rise from the dead and eat some Braves brains or shin flesh or something.
I leave you with this psychotic Charlie Morton pitch chart from this game.