It was blackout night at Citi Field before 40,305 spectators as the Mets and Braves battled in the second game of a crucial series between the two contenders. The Mets acted like they were blacked out early in the game as the Braves jumped out to a big lead early. The Mets chipped away but ultimately fell short,
The Braves roughed up Taijuan Walker with four runs in the first and another four before an out was recorded in the second. Among the blows were an RBI double for Matt Olson and a three-run homer by Eddie Rosario in the first. In the second Michael Harris had a solo homer, Dansby Swanson had an RBI single, and after Walker was chased, Rosario greeted reliever Trevor Williams with an RBI double to put the Braves up 8-0.
Walker was missing his spots and paid for it as his ERA ballooned. He did stumble awkwardly while delivering a pitch in the first, and he ended up spiking the ball in front of the mound. The trainer came out to look at his ankle but Walker stayed in, perhaps that did negatively affect his pitching.
The Mets did come close to scoring in the first when Ronald Acuna robbed Pete Alonso of a two-run homer with a spectacular grab of a ball headed for the right field seats. The Mets put a run on the board in the second when Brandon Nimmo singled to center to score a run but center fielder Harris threw out Luis Guillorme trying to score from second on the play.
In the fifth Francisco Lindor slapped a ground single to left beating the shift. Pete Alonso followed with another single then Jeff McNeil singled to drive home Lindor. Pinch-hitter Darin Ruf doubled to score 2 runs. Later in the inning another pinch-hitter, Eduardo Escobar, came through with an RBI single to make it 8-5 Braves.
The Mets threatened in the eighth when Tomas Nido ripped a leadoff double to right-center, but the opportunity was wasted when Rafael Iglesias retired the next three batters.
In the 9th the Braves got a homer from William Contreras, and the Mets countered with a two-out homer from Jeff McNeill in the bottom of the frame to make it 9-6, but the Braves held on for the win.
In retrospect, with Atlanta winning by three, the circus catch by Acuna to save two runs and the strong throw from Harris to throw out Guillorme at the plate loomed large as those runs would have tied the game.
Williams kept the Mets in the game with 4 scoreless innings after Walker was shelled. Luis Guillorme botched an easy grounder for a rare error, but no harm was done. The series is now tied one game apiece with a split admission double-header looming on Saturday.