The Mets made it abundantly clear from the first inning that they had no intention of being swept in Atlanta this week, taking the series finale 10-8 in a game that got very interesting late. Julio Teheran started for the Braves, but retired just four batters before being lifted. This was shaping up as one of the least entertaining Braves games in some time before the club somehow brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth inning. The pitching staff was much less inspiring, as the Mets collected 23 hits en route to a victory.
Julio Teheran wasted no time finding trouble, as the first two batters of the game reached before a three-run Pete Alonso home run put the Mets ahead 3-0. The second inning saw New York inflict more damage on Teheran with six consecutive Mets reaching base with one out, which would effectively end the festivities for the right-hander this evening as he trailed 6-0.
Teheran exited having allowed six earned runs on eight hits with three walks in just 11⁄3 innings. As you might imagine, this was among the worst outings of his career. Here are some superlatives: shortest outing, fifth-worst WPA, worst ERA, third-worst FIP, and worst xFIP. Teheran looked out of sorts from the outset in this game and nothing ever clicked, but the affliction is limited to a single outing and can hopefully be erased from his memory in preparation for his next start.
In relief of Teheran, the Braves called upon Josh Tomlin with 23 outs remaining. The right-hander worked five innings while allowing four runs on ten hits, limiting the amount of work necessitated by the abbreviated outing from Teheran. Effectiveness was outweighed by longevity in this case, and Brian Snitker must be thankful for Tomlin given the current state of the Atlanta bullpen.
Mets starter Marcus Stroman was able to work into the sixth inning, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits with five strikeouts. Home runs by Matt Joyce and Josh Donaldson essentially accounted for all the offense Atlanta could muster against Stroman, who was able to work with very little concern for the score as his offense buried the Braves early. Freddie Freeman would homer in the eighth to plate a fourth Atlanta run, bringing the score to 10-4 and giving Freeman a 30-homer season.
In the ninth, the Braves offense went crazy. Ronald Acuña, Jr. hit a two-run homer to bring the score to 10-6 with one out. After an Ozzie Albies pop out, Freddie Freeman and Josh Donaldson hit back-to-back homers, giving each a multi-homer game, to make the score 10-8 and force Mickey Callaway to utilize closer Edwin Diaz in a game that seemed to be decided much earlier. Unfortunately, the rally would fall short for Atlanta as Ender Inciarte struck out while representing the tying run, but this team proved once again that they can never be counted out of a game.
The loss hurts in some ways due to the nature in which it came, but the Braves were able to win the series, and Julio Teheran is much better than he showed tonight. The club now readies to host the Dodgers this weekend as the two best teams in the National League square off.