A four-run seventh inning for the New York Mets was enough for them to overcome a three-run fifth inning from the Atlanta Braves. Those ended up being the only runs scored in tonight’s game, as the Mets took the first game of this series by the score of 4-3.
For the first four innings of this one, it was all about Charlie Morton and Tylor Megill trading zeroes in each inning. For Morton, it was a continuation of the same vein of form that he was in over his past few starts and against the Mets, in general. For Megill, it was another example of why he’s being relied upon by the Mets at the moment. Either way, both men were holding the opposing lineup at bay for four solid innings and someone had to blink eventually.
Tylor Megill was the one who ended up blinking first. With two outs in the fifth, Ronald Acuña Jr. slapped a single to extend the inning and that was followed up by Freddie Freeman managing to find the outfield with a grounder of his own. Just like that, the Braves had two men on for Ozzie Albies and the diminutive-yet-powerful second baseman did not disappoint once he came to the plate. In fact, he wasted no time as he swung on the first pitch that Megill threw him and sent it into the bullpen in right center for a big three-run homer. The Braves were up, the stadium was loud, and everybody was feeling good if you were rooting for Atlanta at that point!
The good feelings lasted for all of one inning. After both teams went scoreless in the sixth inning, Charlie Morton went out for the seventh inning. Up to that point, the Mets were only able to put four men on base through six innings and Morton was cruising. That changed when Dominic Smith led off the seventh with a single on a full count and then Kevin Pillar walked during an at-bat where he arguably should’ve been sat down on strikes. The home plate umpire was already having a bit of a rough night and it didn’t help matters that this was somehow not ruled a swing.
Pillar seemed to be heading back to the dugout thinking he'd be rung up on this 2-2 pitch. Instead, he ended up walking and scoring on McCann's game-tying three-run homer that ended Morton's 20.2 inning scoreless streak. pic.twitter.com/wcrumklmuI— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) June 30, 2021
So instead of being in a situation with just one man on and one out, the Mets were gifted another runner on base with nobody out and James McCann at the plate. Still, you had to feel good about Charlie Morton’s chances to at least get past this particular hitter. Up to that point, James McCann had not looked good at all during this game and Morton had basically punished him in the two previous at-bats. However, McCann took the fourth pitch he saw from Morton and slammed it over the fence in left-center for a game-tying home run. That was also the end of Charlie Morton’s night, and it’s a crying shame that that’s how it had to end for him this evening.
Things got worse when A.J. Minter came in. Old friend Jose Peraza welcomed Minter to the game with a double and then Francisco Lindor came through and singled home Peraza to give the Mets their first lead of the game. That was the only run that Minter would give up, but frustration was definitely abound in the ballpark after seeing the Braves surrender a three-run lead in just one bad inning.
That one bad inning ended up costing the Braves dearly. The lineup was unable to generate any more offense from that point forward and went down relatively quietly in the ninth inning. Ehire Adrianza came agonizingly close to tying the game up at four runs apiece when he hit a fly ball that very nearly hit the foul pole. Instead, Adrianza flew out and then Pablo Sandoval and Ronald Acuña Jr. went down quickly to end the game.
It’s really frustrating that one bad inning ended up costing the Braves in this one, but I suppose that the Mets would’ve been the ones ruing their one bad inning in the fifth if the Braves held on to win. That’s baseball for you, and unfortunately baseball has been a bit rough for the Braves here in 2021.