A rarity happened in the rubber game between the rubber game between the New York Mets and Atlanta Braves on Thursday night. They defeated the Braves 4-1, off of a strong pitching performance from, who else, Jason Vargas.
Vargas, who draws as much ire from the Mets fan base as Anthony Swarzak (who was also featured in the game) pitched the most effective game of his season. Not having to face Met killer Freddie Freeman, Vargas threw seven shutout innings, allowing only three hits while striking out six. Perhaps the best part of Vargas’s night was that he did not give up a walk in his seven innings pitched.
For the Mets to produce their 4 run total for the evening, it only took two swings from two catchers. The first swing was from Kevin Plawecki, who crushed a ball 404 feet for a solo home run off of Braves starter Julio Teheran. The score would remain 1-0 until the bottom of the seventh inning, when Devin Mesoraco, pinch hitting for Vargas, drilled a three-run home run, driving in Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier to extend the lead to 4-0.
It was an interesting night at the plate for the Mets. They struck out a total of 10 times, but they also showed some sort of restraint by being able to draw four walks. The only Met to have a multi-hit game was Bruce, who also appeared to maybe have re-triggered his foot injury while running the bases.
The bullpen of the Mets bended, but did not completely break for the Mets. One run was credited to Swarzak, although it was Drew Smith who gave up the hit that drove in the run. Gsellman was shaky to enter the ninth, but eventually settled down to strikeout Freeman to end the game. My Gut Reaction is that tonight shows that one of the true weak links on this team is the bullpen, and the Mets truly need to evaluate the situation heading into the offseason.