On a night that started with the Braves celebrating the legendary Hank Aaron's monumental achievement from 40 years ago, the ageless wonder known as Bartolo Colon was at it again, eating his way through the Braves lineup on his way to a 7 inning outing, allowing only 6 hits and no runs as the Mets won 4-0.
In the series preview, I made mention of the fact that the Braves' pitchers were having an extremely good start to the season and that it'd be kind of unrealistic to believe that this would continue. Although Aaron Harang made another solid start by giving up only one run off of 2 hits, the bullpen's string of solid outings came to a close, though there was definitely a bit of misfortune involved. Following a less-than-sharp appearance by Gus Schlosser (in which he gave up the Mets' 2nd run off of a line drive single from Ruben Tejada), Luis Avilan came in with Tejada on second following a sacrifice bunt from Colon. Eric Young Jr. then came up and was able to drive in Avilan with a broken bat single that eventually turned into an outfield assist from Jason Heyward when Young tried to stretch it into a double. Unfortunately, Avilan injured himself trying to avoid the shards of the broken bat and was unable to continue, being relieved by Anthony Varvaro. There's no official word out on the extent of Avilan's injury, but we're guessing that it's probably related to his hamstring.
The Braves were right back in trouble in the top of the 8th, and following singles from Lucas Duda and Juan Lagares (whose hit was reversed from a put-out at first via replay), new signing Pedro Beato came in to relieve Ian Thomas. Ruben Tejada came back up and and promptly hit a soft liner to right field to drive in Duda and ultimately finish the scoring for the Mets.
The Braves would attempt a rally in the bottom of the 9th, as Jose Valverde got himself into a bases-loaded jam with 2 outs. The stage seemed to be set for a magical moment in the home opener: The living legend Hank Aaron was in the building, and with Jason Heyward at bat, it appeared that Heyward would have an opportunity to add another home opener memory to his career resume. As the ball came off of Heyward's bat, it appeared that this would be the case. Unfortunately, the deep fly ball to center field was easily caught by Lagares to end the game.
The Mets improved to 3-4 while the Braves fell to 4-3 with the victory. You had to figure that the Braves' pitching staff would finally give up more than 2 runs in a game, and tonight was that night. The Braves' bats continued to be silent, with tonight's game being the 5th time that the Braves failed to score 2 runs or more.