This was a crucial five game series for the Atlanta Braves. The New York Mets are in first place in the National League East and are the Braves biggest threat. Atlanta did take three out of five games in the series, but after the whole series, they only gained one game on the Mets.
Game One: Kyle Muller vs. Marcus Stroman, Braves won 2-0; game one of doubleheader
This was a well-played game of baseball for the Braves. Their starting pitching was excellent- so was the bullpen, and Atlanta’s hitters provided just enough offense to allowed them to beat the Mets in this game.
Kyle Muller pitched excellent. He went five innings, allowed four hits, ZERO runs, two walks, and three strikeouts. Muller’s outing on the mound was solid. His stuff was good, he had good command of the strike zone and his pitch count. Not to mention he had a single and scored. His impressive start was the foundation of the Braves win.
In the top of the third inning Guillermo Heredia led off with a double, Kyle Muller followed him with a single, and then Joc Pederson had an RBI-double that scored Heredia and got the Braves on the board with a 1-0 lead.
Atlanta scored their second and final run in the top of the fourth inning. Dansby Swanson led off that inning with a double, and was followed with a single by Stephen Vogt that advanced Swanson to third. Orlando Arcia grounded into a force-out that got Vogt out at second. However, Arcia’s out scored Dansby from third and made it a 2-0 Braves lead.
The Braves bullpen came on and was lights out. Combined, Tyler Matzek and Will Smith went two innings, allowed only one hit, zero runs, zero walks, and one strikeout. They backed up a solid start from Kyle Muller with a good bullpen outing, which led to a Braves win.
Game Two: Bryse Wilson vs. Aaron Loup, Braves lost 1-0; game two of doubleheader
This was a low-scoring, suspenseful game for both the Braves and the Mets. Unfortunately, Atlanta’s bullpen had one slip-up that cost them a run, and that run cost them the game.
Bryse Wilson had a decent outing for Atlanta. He only went three innings. But in those three innings he allowed four hits, ZERO runs, one walk, and he had two strikeouts. This outing for Wilson was much better than the previous ones he had made for the Braves.
Atlanta’s bullpen was doing a very good job in relief of Bryse Wilson. However, in the bottom of the fifth inning, with Luke Jackson on the mound, Jeff McNeil had an RBI double that scored Brandon Nimmo from first who reached base via a single earlier that inning. McNiel’s double gave the Mets the lead at 1-0 and that was the ONLY run scored in that ENTIRE game.
Despite Luke Jackson surrendering the only run of the game, Atlanta’s bullpen pitched very well, and it was a very well-played game of baseball. It just would’ve been better if the Braves could have pulled together some offense and won!
Game Three: Charlie Morton vs. Jerad Eickhoff, Braves won 12-5
Atlanta played this game very well from all standpoints. Their offense was fantastic, starting pitching was very good, and the bullpen was great.
Charlie Morton pitched five innings for the Braves, allowed five hits, three runs, two walks, and he had five strikeouts. I was surprised that Brian Snitker took Morton out after only five innings. His pitch count wasn’t high – only 89 pitches, and he hadn’t had many high-stress situations. I don’t know if he was simply tired or if Snitker saw something that Morton did that he didn’t like… I guess we’ll never know.
The Braves started their scoring early and kept scoring throughout the entire game!
In the top of the first inning, Ehire Adrianza was hit by a pitch to start the game. Ozzie Albies and Freddie Freeman followed him with back-to-back walks to load the bases with Braves and no outs. Austin Riley grounded into a force out, which got Adrianza out at home and allowed Austin to stand on first with one out. With one out, Dansby Swanson was up to bat. He hit a booming double into left field that scored Ozzie and Freeman, making it 2-0 Braves.
Atlanta scored again in the top of the second inning when my man, Ozzie Albies hit a first-pitch, two-run bomb into the seats in right field. It was loud and it went far! His home run gave the Braves a 4-0 lead. Abraham Almonte added on to the Braves lead it the top of the third inning with a two-run homer that scored Swanson and make it 6-0 all Atlanta!
In the bottom of the third inning, the Mets got on the board when Pete Alonso hit an RBI single making a 6-1 game.
To start off the top of the fourth inning, Charlie Morton had a single. Adrianza followed Morton with a double that advanced Charlie to third. Albies struck out to make the first out of the inning, and then Freddie Freeman was intentionally walked to load the bases with Braves. With the bases loaded, Austin Riley was up to bat. Austin hit a GRAND SLAM to left field to make it a 10-1 Atlanta lead! He had been red-hot in the previous series with the Phillies, and in the beginning of this series. His bat has come to life for Atlanta when they’ve needed him most, and he came through big in that situation.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, New York made it a 10-3 three game when Jeff McNiel hit a two-run homer, which allowed Brandon Drury to score. Drury reached base earlier in that inning with a single.
The Braves scored their last two runs in the top of the sixth inning. Austin Riley hit another home run – his second of the night, a two-run shot that scored Freeman and made it a 12-3 game- all Atlanta.
The Mets got two runs closer in the bottom of the seventh inning when Brandon Drury hit a two-run home run, making it a 12-5 game. But they couldn’t conjure up any more offense, and the Braves won with a final score of 12-5.
Game Four: Max Fried vs. Tylor Megill, Braves lost 2-1
Well, if you wanted another suspenseful game, this was it.
Max Fried pitched great for Atlanta. He went seven innings, allowed five hits, two runs, two walks, and he had nine strikeouts. Fried never had any real high-stress pitches. He just hung two pitches to two different New York batters, and that cost him a win, and the game for Atlanta.
The Mets got on the board first when their second baseman, Jeff McNiel had an RBI single that scored pitcher Tyler Megill to give them a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third.
Atlanta tied the game in the top of the sixth inning when red-hot Riley hit a gigantic solo home run to straight away center. His home run made it a 1-1 game, and got the Braves back into the game.
However, in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Mets broke the scoreless tie when Brandon Drury hit a solo home run making it a 2-1 game; New York on top. Fried hung a curveball over the plate and Drury did not miss it. A rare mistake from Max Fried was the difference in the game.
Atlanta had a chance to score in the top of the ninth inning, but a good, strong throw from Mets’ right fielder didn’t allowed that to happen, and New York sealed their 2-1 win.
Game Five: Drew Smyly vs. Taijuan Walker, Braves won 6-3
Drew Smyly only pitched four innings. In those four innings he allowed nine hits, three runs, one walk, and he had six strikeouts. He only threw 85 pitches, but he had runners all over the place in all four of those inning and it was a miracle Smyly didn’t surrender more than three runs to the Mets.
New York started the scoring in the bottom of the third inning when Dominic Smith had an RBI-single that scored Brandon Nimmo, to give the Mets a 1-0 lead. Smith was thrown out by Joc Pederson in right field while trying to advance to second base.
In the top of the fourth inning, the Braves got on the board with a two-run bomb from Austin Riley that scored my man Ozzie albies (he walked to start off the fourth inning) and gave Atlanta a 2-1 lead. Following a groundout by Dansby Swanson, Abraham Almonte hit a solo home run extending the Braves lead to 3-1.
Atlanta added onto their lead again in the top of the fifth inning. Guillermo Heredia led off the inning with a single. He was followed by a strikeout of Drew Smyly and then Joc Pederson singled, advancing Heredia to third. So with two on and one out, Ozzie Albies was up to bat. Ozzie had an RBI-single that scored Heredia and made it a 4-1 game. After my man, Ozzie’s single, Freddie Freeman struck out. With two outs, and still two on, Austin Riley was up to bat. He hit another Atlanta RBI-single that scored Pederson and made it 5-1 Braves.
The Mets got new life in the game when Pete Alonso hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning. His home run made it a 5-3 game.
However, in the top of the eighth inning, Dansby Swanson hit a solo home run making it 6-3. His home run gave Atlanta some insurance, and the motivation to push through and win.
This was a crucial series win for Atlanta. If they got swept by the Mets, let alone lost four of the five games, the Braves’ shot of making the postseason would have been as good as gone. But no, our beloved Atlanta Braves won the series and still have a shot in the division. However, in order for that to happen, the Braves need to really focus on winning games – and winning more than one game in a row. Atlanta has not won any consecutive games in a row since before the All-Star break. That has to change…and soon!!