After winning the first two series of the season on the road in a city where the Braves normally struggle (Milwaukee) and in the city that is home to who figures to be the top rival for the divisional title this season (Washington), it wouldn't have been outrageous to think that the Braves could come home (where they had the best record in the NL last season) and take care of business against the Mets, right?
Unfortunately for us, that wasn't the case, as the Mets came into Atlanta and took 2 out of 3 to take the series. Remember in the series preview where I pointed out that the Mets' bullpen was clearly their weak spot? That proved to be far from the truth, as the Mets bullpen actually did quite well in this series. Instead, it was the Braves bullpen that turned out to be a point of weakness. The Mets beat up on the Braves bullpen after a solid outing by Aaron Harang in Tuesday's contest, then nearly mounted a 4-run comeback against Jordan Walden and Craig Kimbrel on Wednesday. The pen then capped off a rough series by following David Hale's shaky 4 innings of work with by giving up 2 runs in shaky work of their own.
There were some positives that came from these three games against the Mets, with the win in Wednesday's game being the obvious one. The other one was that, aside from getting shut out in Tuesday's encounter, the bats came alive in the last two games, combining for 8 runs. 8 runs in 2 games after it took 6 games to score 8 is not bad at all. Jason Heyward hit a homer in Wednesday's win, and Justin Upton hit two in Thursday's loss, one of which is still flying somewhere near Villa Rica and hasn't landed yet. B.J. Upton hit a triple. B.J. Upton hit a triple.
On the other side of things, Aaron Harang continued to pitch very well. Ervin Santana had an extremely positive debut in a Braves uniform. Also, Andrelton Simmons continued to prove that he's got this whole "defense" thing down to a science.
Basically, there were plenty of positives on display in this series, but the negatives were enough to outweigh the good, which resulted in the Mets taking the series. Luckily, baseball is a game of quick turnarounds, and the Braves will have no choice but to switch their focus towards taking on the Washington Nationals in the weekend series. Here's hoping that that series goes better than this one did.