In a game that became a battle of the bullpens, the Braves’ pen proved markedly better, as they hurled four scoreless innings – after contributing seven scoreless frames Friday night – to lead Atlanta to a 9-5 win Saturday night at Citi Field.
The game turned in the staggered inning of the bottom of the seventh and the top of the eighth. Jeff McNeil pinch hit to lead off the seventh for the Mets and ripped a double in his first PA since being activated from the IL. Then Mickey Callaway continued to make the case for being in over his head as a manager as he decided to sacrifice with one of his hottest hitters, Amed Rosario.
After two unsuccessful bunt attempts put him down in the count, 0-2, Rosario swung away and grounded a ball to short. McNeil channeled Daniel Murphy to make a scratch your head play. On a ball hit to the left side, he tried to advance to third base and was thrown out. And for the third and final move that backfired, the Mets tried to hit and run and Rosario was thrown out when Joe Panik failed to make contact.
Then in the top of the eighth, with two out, the Braves strung together three straight hits. The third one was a single to left center that Billy Hamilton scored on from first base because J.D. Davis took too long to throw the ball in and when he finally did throw, it was a lollypop. That seemed to take all of the wind out of the Mets.
It was an incredibly disappointing ending to a game that had a remarkable middle. The Mets fell behind 4-0 early but rallied to take a 5-4 lead, thanks to a 451-foot, 3-run homer to center field by Pete Alonso. It was Alonso’s 41st homer of the year, tying him with Carlos Beltran and Todd Hundley for the single-season HR mark for the franchise.
But unlike Atlanta’s pen, New York’s relief corps allowed four runs in three innings. And Edwin Diaz left the game with an undisclosed injury.
Wilson Ramos extended his hitting streak to 18 games.
Hey, maybe the Mets can look to have these past two games stricken from the record due to the hideousness of the uniforms they were forced to wear in this Player’s Weekend series.