Atlanta had a pretty smooth journey to their 87th win of the season on Saturday on the whole, even without most of their starters, despite a late surge by New York.
After a relatively quiet first two innings from both offenses, the Braves opened the scoring in the third. After a bizarre incident in which the sole tore off of his shoe during a swing mid-at-bat in the first inning, Joc Pederson hit a solo homer in his second at-bat. A double from Orlando Arcia was followed by an RBI single from Freeman to score the second run of the inning.
Smyly worked around two walks to keep the Mets scoreless in the top of the fourth. The Braves added on some more in the bottom of the fourth and it started with an Eddie Rosario single. It looked like they might not be able to make the leadoff single pay off, but William Contreras changed that as he crushed a homer that he sorely needed after a stretch of offensive struggles for him in the majors.
After another scoreless inning for the Mets offense. the Braves struck once again in the bottom of the fifth. Two one out walks from Arcia and Freeman initiated the threat and Eddie Rosario cashed in a run with a two out single to score Arcia.
AJ Minter came in to pitch the sixth for Atlanta and allowed a one out single to Michael Conforto and a double to Pete Alonso to score the Mets’ first run. Minter did not mess around after giving up the run, striking out the next two batters to end the inning. After a scoreless seventh, featuring a second inning pitched by Minter, the Mets put together some more offense off of the recently promoted Dylan Lee. A Lindor “triple” on a ball misplayed by Rosario was the first baserunner, but the additional bases ended up being meaningless, as Michael Conforto absolutely launched a ball to right field that just stayed inside of the foul pole. A poor throw from Dansby over Freddie’s head allowed Villar to reach with two outs, but Lee worked a strikeout to preserve the three run lead. The Braves offense couldn’t add any insurance on in the bottom of the eighth, but the lead was still three.
Richard Rodriguez got the call in the ninth inning once again and promptly allowed a leadoff double to James McCann. Guillorme hit a ball that looked like it might be a problem for Rosario, but he made a nice play this time for the first out and nearly got the runner drifting off the bag at second as well. Kevin Pillar hit a line drive to right field that Pederson clearly thought was foul, but was not foul, and it ended up bouncing around for an RBI triple, bringing the tying run to the plate. Nimmo got a ball just past Adrianza to bring home Pillar. Lindor put a decent charge into a fly ball, but to the deepest part of the park and right at Heredia for the second out. That was the end of Richard Rodriguez, as Jacob Webb was called in for the final out, facing Michael Conforto. After going up 0-2 on Conforto, Webb let it get to a full count and walked Conforto, pushing the tying run to second, with the hot-hitting Pete Alonso coming to the plate. A wild pitch on the first pitch advanced the runners and the Braves decided to intentionally walk Alonso from there, loading the bases with a one run lead and a pitcher showing shaky command. Webb did not throw a pitch in the strike zone against Villar, but got a soft groundout on a 2-2 count to end the game and secure the win.
Join us tomorrow for the final game of the regular season at 3:20 PM ET!