Kelly Johnson was not having a particularly hot 2016 as a Brave, putting up just a 51 wRC+ in 132 PAs before he was dealt to the Mets. However, the New York colors seem to have done him a lot of good, as he had put up a blistering .286/.375/.464 line in 32 PAs as a Met, and the fun for him didn't stop there tonight, as his solo homer to lead off the 11th gave the Mets a 1-0 victory over the Braves.
The pitching matchup was a good one, and it proceeded as advertised. Both Julio Teheran and Jacob deGrom dazzled, throwing eight scoreless innings each. Teheran had the better start, allowing just five hits and walking none while striking out seven; deGrom allowed seven hits and a walk with six punchouts. At one point, Teheran retired 15 straight Mets, and he looked just as locked in as ever. He's on some kind of roll.
Double plays ran rampant in this game. The Braves hit into three of them in consecutive innings against deGrom, which helps to explain the lack of scoring on their end despite a handful of hits. For their own sake, the Braves turned two double plays later in the game themselves to keep the Mets off the board. Ender Inciarte and Adonis Garcia also combined to steal an out on a weird play where Yoenis Cespedes singled, letting Curtis Granderson (who was hit by a pitch to lead off the third) take third base safely, but then tried to advance to second and was thrown out by Garcia.
Both teams got leadoff men on in the ninth. The Mets managed nothing thanks to a double play induced by Arodys Vizcaino; the Braves wasted a Freddie Freeman leadoff single in the bottom of the frame against Jerry Blevins and Addison Reed. In the 10th, Jim Johnson worked around a leadoff single by starting a 1-6-3 double play on a bunt attempt by Alejandro de Aza which he wisely let drop; Addison Reed again carved up the Braves in the bottom of the frame.
The 11th was the fateful inning: Dario Alvarez, who to date had pitched four hitless innings as a Brave, went to a 3-1 count on Kelly Johnson and then ran a fastball right into his happy zone. Johnson didn't miss it, clubbing a hard liner that bounced on top of and over the right field wall to score the only run of the game. Alvarez and Chris Withrow cleaned up the rest of the inning, but the damage was done.
In the bottom of the inning, the Braves got one last chance against Mets closer Jeurys Familia. Jace Peterson lined a leadoff single, and Ender Inciarte nearly beat out a bunt down the left foul line but was thrown out by a half-step or less. That allowed Familia to intentionally walk Freddie Freeman and set up (what else?) a routine double play ball off the bat of Nick Markakis to end the game.
The Braves have a chance to salvage a series split tomorrow afternoon, when Bud Norris faces off against Bartolo Colon.