The Atlanta Braves came up just short against Jacob deGrom and the New York Mets in a 4-2 loss in Game 1 of Monday’s doubleheader.
While Jacob deGrom’s performance was the headliner, Kyle Muller put up a heck of a performance in his first career start. The only blemish came in the first inning when Jonathan Villar walked to lead off the game and later came around to score on a wild pitch. The only “hit” that Muller allowed came in the second inning on what should have been an error after a miscommunication in the outfield between Guillermo Heredia and Ronald Acuña Jr.
Muller settled in and retired the last seven batters he faced. He would exit after four having allowed one hit, three walks and one run to go along with three strikeouts.
deGrom was as advertised and sat down the first eight Braves hitters he faced. The first Atlanta hitter to reach ended up being Muller who worked an eight-pitch walk with two outs in the third. The Braves had their best chance to score in the fifth when Heredia worked a two-out walk. Kevan Smith then hit a long fly ball to the gap in left center that Dominic Smith and Albert Almora Jr. weren’t able to flag down. Unfortunately for Atlanta, the ball landed on the warning track and then bounced over the fence for a ground-rule double. Heredia was forced to return to third. Pablo Sandoval came on to pinch hit for Muller but popped the first pitch he saw to Villar at third to end the threat.
Shane Greene took over for the Braves in the fifth and while they signed him in hope that he would solidify the bullpen, it hasn’t happened yet. Greene retired Almora on an excellent play by Austin Riley at third. He then hit Tomas Nido in the hand. Jeff McNeil then pinch-hit for deGrom and singled to center. Villar followed with a single of his own to load the bases. Greene fell behind Lindor who lifted a 3-0 sinker to Acuña in right but Nido could not advance on the play. Brian Snitker then elected to replace Greene with Sean Newcomb. Newcomb worked the count to 2-2 before Dominic Smith yanked a fastball into the right field corner for a three-run double to make it 4-0.
That bullpen implosion hurt as the Braves finally got on the board in the sixth. It was initially ruled that Acuña was hit by a pitch by Seth Lugo but replay ruled that the ball hit the knob of the bat and was caught by John Means for strike three. Lugo then walked Freddie Freeman before Ozzie Albies connected for a two-run homer to right center to make it 4-2.
Ty Tice held the Mets in check in the sixth but Edwin Diaz sat the Braves down in the seventh to close things out.
The Braves will try to bounce back in the nightcap with Ian Anderson on the mound.