ATLANTA — Everything went wrong for the Mets in Atlanta this week, until the final game of a three-game series. Just when it finally looked as though things would go right, the Mets somehow found a way to lose in an even more heartbreaking fashion than the two games prior.
The Braves walked it off by scoring in the 10th to secure a 13-10 win and series sweep on Thursday night at Truist Park. Raisel Iglesias (2-2) set the Mets down in order in the top of the 10th and Tommy Hunter (0-1) gave up a three-run bomb to Ozzie Albies to extend the Mets’ losing streak to six.
Two home runs from Francisco Alvarez and a grand slam from Brandon Nimmo helped the Mets overcome an abysmal pitching performance from Justin Verlander. Jeff McNeil, Francisco Lindor, Brett Baty and Starling Marte all had multi-hit games.
Nimmo’s grand slam in the second inning off Spencer Strider gave the Mets a 5-3 lead and two big blasts by Alvarez helped them stay on top until the ninth inning when Orlando Arcia took David Robertson deep to tie the game at 10-10.
The Mets (30-33) emptied the bullpen, using Stephen Nogosek, Jeff Brigham, Brooks Raley, Drew Smith and Robertson to get them through nine innings after Verlander lasted only three.
Verlander put the Mets in a 3-0 hole in the first inning and by the time he came out of the game after the third, the Braves (38-24) had scored two more.
Five runs (four earned) on seven hits with four walks and only three strikeouts isn’t what the Mets expected when they signed the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner. Verlander has had a few gems, but more often than not he hasn’t pitched to the level that anyone else expects from him. A 4.85 ERA is not a $43 million ERA.
The Braves rarely go away quietly, and this game was no different. They scored runs in the fifth, sixth, eighth and ninth. Smith hung a slider to former Mets’ catcher Travis d’Arnaud in the eighth and he took it over the fence for a two-run homer to bring Atlanta to within one.
Alvarez’s first homer of the night was a two-run shot off Strider in the fourth. Nogosek gave up a home run in the fifth to Marcell Ozuna to make it 9-6, but Alvarez’s second home run of the night came in the bottom of the inning off right-hander Michael Tonkin to make it 10-6.
The Braves wouldn’t go away.
Brigham took a comebacker off of his lower back in the sixth and got one more out before the Mets brought in Raley to face left-handed Eddie Rosario. Raley couldn’t get him out, letting an inherited runner score for the second time in as many nights.
The outings for Smith and Robertson didn’t go as planned. This was the third time in two weeks the Mets have scored 10 runs and managed to lose, which speaks to some larger pitching issues.
It was a wild contest with overturned calls and a Braves fan that nearly beat the infamous Freeze.
If there’s anything to take from this one, it’s that the Mets unlocked something by using Alvarez as a designated hitter. He now has 11 home runs this season, which is tied with Lindor for the second-most on the team. It was his second multi-homer contest in only 46 Major League games.
The Mets have to keep their rookie catcher’s bat in the lineup as much as possible and find a way to fix their scuffling pitchers.
Source: Berkshire mont