One of the 60 games you’re gonna lose. Max Fried was fighting it all night — he couldn’t command or control the curveball or the fastball, really, he walked five men in five innings, and it’s something of a miracle that he only gave up two in five innings. Then our normally reliable bullpen coughed up a couple. Meanwhile, Max Scherzer was his typical self.
It was the epitome of a “tip your cap” game, even though it was unbelievably frustrating when Austin Riley launched a solo shot in the bottom of the 7th to bring us within one, and then Darren O’Day gave up a run in the eighth and Jackson Stephens gave up a run in the ninth to give Edwin Diaz some Reitsma Room.
But really, it was a game where Robinson Cano nearly matched the productivity of the rest of the lineup. He had two singles, while Ronald had a single, Marcell had a double, Austin had his solo shot, and not a single Brave received a free pass while the Mutts received six different acts of charity from Braves pitchers. The ump was maybe squeezing us more than he squeezed the Mets, but a lot of Max’s misses weren’t particularly borderline. The Mets just played better.
The thing is, we were terrible and they had their ace, and it was a relatively tight-scoring game, because the injury-depleted Mets lineup is really, really thin. Their first three guys — Nimmo, Lindor, Alonso, the normal cleanup hitter pressed into #3 duty — are pretty good. Then it got awfully dicey, with Starling Marte scratched from the lineup, Jeff McNeil on the paternity list, and catcher James McCann out for the next month.
Mark Canha is decent enough, but his career batting line of .247/.347/.426 is virtually identical to Todd Zeile’s .265/.346/.423. Designated hitter J.D. Davis is basically more of the same: career .267/.350/.432, and a little worse than that this year. And the lineup is littered with guys like Eduardo Escobar (age 33), Travis Jankowski (age 31), and Tomas Nido (age 28), who cannot hit. Their best hitter last night was Luis Guillorme, whose career line of .279/.365/.349 is good enough for a second baseman, but basically it’s a lineup full of pesky guys who can get on base occasionally but have no particular thump. If anyone could get on base ahead of Austin Riley, we could put up a crooked number that could push the game out of reach.
But the biggest takeaway for me from last night’s game was from the gospel according to Dennis Green. These guys aren’t some untouchable juggernaut. They’re the New York Metropolitans. Last night, we just let ’em off the hook.