The Mets (82-61) defeated the Atlanta Braves (56-88) by a score of 10-7 in 10 innings. The game was a defensive nightmare for the Mets, the likes of which they have not seen in a long time. It was contagious, affecting everyone from Daniel Murphy to usually-strong defenders Curtis Granderson, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Lucas Duda, and Juan Uribe. Only two official errors were charged to the Mets. However, Daniel Murphy made up for his misplay in the 9th inning with a 2-out 3-run home run to tie the game. The Mets took the lead for good on a Hector Olivera error and a couple bases-loaded walks from the Atlanta bullpen.
The Mets got off to a fast start with a 2-run home run by Michael Conforto after a single by Juan Uribe. The Mets were up 2-0 in the 2nd inning. Kirk Nieuwenhuis doubled to follow, but was caught trying to steal third to cool off the threat. The Braves countered with 2 runs in the bottom of the 3rd inning, after leadoff singles by Nick Markakis and Daniel Castro. The single by Markakis was upheld on review, after Jon Niese‘s throw to first handcuffed Lucas Duda. RBI singles by Adonis Garcia and Andrelton Simmons tied up the game.
In the bottom of the 6th inning, Andrelton Simmons singled to lead off the inning. Christian Bethancourt followed with a ground ball to Juan Uribe which skipped off his glove into left field. A tailor-made double play off the bat, the Braves now had 1st and 3rd with no one out. Niese limited the damage, however, and after a sacrifice fly to Michael Bourn, he retired the next two batters. The Braves took a 3-2 lead.
The Mets came right back in the top of the 7th, after a leadoff walk to Kirk Nieuwenhuis. Nieuwenhuis advanced on a groundout and went to 3rd on a single by Kevin Plawecki. Pinch hitter Michael Cuddyer was hit by a pitch, and Curtis Granderson singled in two runs against left-handed reliever Matt Marksberry. Marksberry got out of the inning without allowing any more runs.
In the bottom of the 7th, Tim Stauffer, his first appearance as a Met, allowed a leadoff single to Daniel Castro. Freddie Freeman followed with a hard ground ball that skipped by Daniel Murphy, putting runners at 1st and 3rd. It was another ball that should have been a double play, but Murphy failed to get his body in front of the ball, and missed while trying to stab at the ball with his glove. What followed was a chopper right back to Stauffer, who elected to get the double play and let the tying run score rather than throw to the plate. The game was tied at 4-4, and after working around a hit batsman, Stauffer got out of the inning.
Top of the 8th, after a 1-out walk to Michael Conforto, pinch runner Eric Young Jr. was thrown out trying to steal second, on a fantastic play by catcher Christian Bethancourt. The Mets were turned aside, and Bethancourt singled against Stauffer to lead off the bottom of the 8th. Dario Alvarez came in and got Michael Bourn out on a sacrifice bunt, hit pinch hitter Nick Swisher with a pitch, and got Nick Markakis to fly out to left. Daniel Castro singled down the left field line to score Bethancourt from 2nd, and Freddie Freeman sent a fly ball to left that Kirk Nieuwenhuis lost in either the sun or the wind. The ball landed foul, and Freeman’s at-bat continued. Freeman walked and Bobby Parnell came in to face Adonis Garcia. Garcia sent a shallow fly ball to right field, and Curtis Granderson slid but lost the ball in the sun. The misplayed single scored two runs to give the Braves a 7-4 lead.
In the top of the 9th, the Braves sent out Peter Moylan for his first save since 2012. Moylan struck out Ruben Tejada and Kevin Plawecki before defensive replacement Juan Lagares doubled to right-center. Ryan Kelly came in to try and get the save, and walked Curtis Granderson before allowing a 3-run home run to Daniel Murphy. That tied the game at 7.
After an easy bottom of the 9th by Parnell, journeyman right-handed pitcher Edwin Jackson came in for the top of the 10th. After getting Juan Uribe to pop out and pinch hitter Yoenis Cespedes to strike out, the wheels came off for Jackson. A walk to Kirk Nieuwenhuis and a single to Ruben Tejada put runners on the corners with 2 outs. What followed was a sharp ground ball to 3rd by Kevin Plawecki, where third baseman Hector Olivera made a nice stop. However, throwing to 2nd to get the forceout, Olivera threw wide, pulling second baseman Daniel Castro off the bag, allowing the go-ahead run to score. The play was upheld on video review. Jackson then proceeded to walk Juan Lagares and Curtis Granderson, forcing in a run. Danny Burawa then entered the game, and after walking Murphy to force in another run, retired Lucas Duda to end the threat. The Mets had a 10-7 lead.
Addison Reed worked around yet another error (this one by Ruben Tejada) in the bottom of the 10th to earn the save.
As Gary Cohen said when calling Murphy’s home run, “this team just doesn’t know how to lose.” What an odd game and what a dramatic win. This was the 7th straight game the Mets have scored 3 or more runs between the 7th and 9th inning.
Aside from the various defensive miscues, today saw bounce-back outings for both Jon Niese and Bobby Parnell. On a day when David Wright, Travis d’Arnaud, Wilmer Flores, Tyler Clippard, and Jeurys Familia never even appeared in the game (and Yoenis Cespedes struck out in his only plate appearance), this is a fantastic win.
Coupled with the Nationals’ 5-0 win against Miami, the Mets remain 9.5 games up in the division and reduce their magic number to 11. Rookies Logan Verrett and Justin Nicolino square off tomorrow at Citi Field at 7:10 as the Mets open a 3 game series against the Miami Marlins.
- Kevin Plawecki (.430)
- Curtis Granderson (.425)
- Daniel Murphy (.248)
- Michael Conforto (.198)
- Tim Stauffer (-.251)
- Dario Alvarez (-.237)
- Jon Niese (-.172 pitching, -.043 at the plate, -.215 total)
- Lucas Duda (-.120)
- Daniel Murphy hits a 3-run home run with two outs in the 9th inning, ties the game at 7-7. (.384 WPA)
- Kevin Plawecki reached on a fielder’s choice, error on 3rd baseman Hector Olivera, with 2 outs in the top of the 10th inning. Kirk Nieuwenhuis scores to make it 8-7 Mets. (.352 WPA)
- Curtis Granderson singles to right with 1 out in the top of the 7th, scoring Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Kevin Plawecki. Mets lead 4-3. (.337 WPA)
- Daniel Castro singles to left with 2 outs in the bottom of the 8th against Dario Alvarez, Christian Bethancourt scores. Braves take a 3-2 lead. (-.306)
- Freddie Freeman singled to right, Daniel Castro advanced to 3rd. No one out, bottom of the 7th against Tim Stauffer. (This is the play that should have been an error on Murphy (-.212 WPA)