Baseball is a rule-governed game. Its arbiters are subject to the faults and frailties of all human beings, but the rules themselves are inviolate. One of those inviolate rules is this: you cannot win if you cannot outscore your own pitching staff.
The Braves batters hit the heck out of the baseball today, until they didn’t. The Braves pitchers were the definition of futility.
Here’s how it went.
Jace Peterson had a good day, a single, a three-run home run and a bloop double in his first three at bats. Kelly Johnson had three hits including a double as well as a walk and drove in two runs. Juan Uribe had three singles and drove in a run. Nick Markakis had a single, a double and an rbi. It wasn’t enough to support the Braves pitching staff. Jace singled in the first, stole second and scored on Freddie Freeman’s single. I’m pleased that we have Jace.
Ugly Betty showed up in the bottom of the first, allowing the Mets to knot the score at one with a passed ball. Good defense is his forte; patience is not mine.
Jace encored with his three-run blast in the second. Kelly Johnson bumped the margin to 5-1 Braves in the top of the third, plating Arab Singles after Juan Uribe singled him into scoring position. Mets closed the gap to 5-3 in the bottom of the frame.
Weird sequence: Curtis Granderson and Lucas Duda sandwiched a Juan Lagares force out with singles and Travis d’Arnaud walked. Faulty got the second out by uncorking a wild pitch off the perfect brick to ricochet back to Cuter Betty. Wilmer Flores then singled in the remaining two runners but was erased trying to get to second.
The Braves seemingly broke the game open in the fourth. After Folty fanned, Jace blooped his double to left. Cameron Maybin, who was as bad today as he’s been good lately, struck out again. Freddie was intentionally walked, and Arab Doubled in two. Uribe moved Neck to third with a single, and Kelly singled Neck home. 8-3 Braves.
The Mets had us just where they wanted us. Folty pitched Home Run Derby in the bottom of the inning, allowing Darrell Ceciliani (love the name) to hit his first big league home run. An out later, Folty gave up another homer to Dilson Herrera (another great name). Now it’s 8-5 Braves, and our boys are going to go into hibernation.
Bottom of the fifth, wish I’d been there: after one out, Lucas Duda singled; and Fredi was sick of Folty. Can’t blame him. Brandon Cunniff came in, and Travis d’Arnaud (Where are the Mets finding these guys? Their team sounds like a course in world lit.) homered to make it an 8-7 game. Braves fans are no longer laughing.
Braves 6th: Hibernation mode – zzzz!
Mets 6th: Luis Avilan serves up singles to pinch hitter Michael Cuddyer, Curtis Granderson and the stake-through-the-heart home run to Juan Lagares. We’re done. Merry Christmas, Mets. Hope Toronto sweeps you.
The Braves got zero hits from the fourth until Juan Uribe singled with one out in the ninth.
The Braves handled Dillon Gee. The rest of the Mets gave us nothing. Our staff gave the Mets the game. Sometimes you lose after you lead 5-1 and 8-3, but it’s never fun.