Braves 13, Mets 1

The Braves exorcised a weekend’s worth of demons in the sixth inning tonight. I wouldn’t say they got medieval on them — I’d say they made the Mets go out into the back, cut a switch, bring it back to them, and then proceeded to hide them with it.

God, it was fun.

The game started out well, if just a bit iffy. Carlos Carrasco is 35 now, and it’s been six years and a successful battle with cancer since he finished fourth in the AL Cy Young race. He’s their fourth starter, but a pretty good one, and he beat us with a just-fine quality start his last time out. Spencer Strider hadn’t pitched since the Mets knocked him out in the third inning on August 7, and he needed more than 20 pitches per inning as he labored through a scoreless first and second; when the rains opened up in the third inning last night, it seemed possible he was in for the same fate. But it took a different turn.

Since Michael Harris II became our new Crime Dog, this team’s offense has been absolutely catalyzed by the bottom of the order, and last night was no different. As krussell said in the game thread: “I’m to the point where I want Michael Harris and Vaughn Grissom to bat back to back from now until they retire.” Amen to that.

The bottom of the second was keyed off by a leadoff bomb by William Contreras followed by a back-to-back jack from October Eddie Rosario. d’Arnaud got hit in the hand and we all sharply drew in our breath, but he seemed okay, Grissom and Harris made outs, and then the Mets Metsed: the left fielder lost a Canha corn in the lights and wind, and Ronald got an RBI “double” on a pop-out.

We were all mad that the rains came with a 3-0 score and what looked like an offense ready to run the table, but it all worked out. The game was back on in less than an hour, and the Mets pen proved enormously hospitable. If there were any doubts remaining, the eight-run sixth (E5, walk, single, double, single, single, single, strikeout, strikeout, three-run homer) telegraphed the new narrative:

The division race is still up for grabs.

Game on!

73 thoughts on “Braves 13, Mets 1”

  1. Thanks Alex.

    There have been multiple points recently where I’ve thought, “Man, we are going to be good for a really long time.” But every time the lineup Grissom comes up to then be followed by Harris and Acuna, it’s a reminder that this team is really good and really young.

    That 6th inning was fun to watch.

    With Rosario’s home run, that brings him to a wRC+ of exactly 100 over the last 30 days. So if you put Contreras at DH instead of Ozuna, then you would have an entire lineup where everyone but d’Arnaud had a wRC+ of 100 in the last 30 days.

    Acuna – 121
    Dansby – 106
    Olson – 120
    Riley – 163
    Contreras – 112
    Rosario/Grossman – 100/119
    Grissom – 256
    Harris – 139

    50 feet of crap

    Ozuna – 36

    So it’s encouraging that the entire lineup is now hitting top to bottom, but it really makes Ozuna stand out as someone who probably needs to only hit against LHP and RHP that he uniquely matches up well with. We’re trying to win a division and we have a DH with a wRC+ of 36 during the stretch run. You just can’t have that. He’s also put on A LOT of weight since his 2020 season. This is not going to work out, and he needs to be put in a position where you can get a microscopic amount of value out of him and nothing more.

  2. What a game for the Braves! It’s only a single game – and the Mets have yet to throw DeGrom and Scherzer at us – but that was great to see. We won by a dozen runs, didn’t use any of our top bullpen guys, and Acuna hit the ball hard multiple times (in addition to great performances up and down the lineup). If you’re looking for blemishes, the only things you can really point are Rosario pulled a hammy (shame, as he was starting to look better at the plate and we could use a locked-in Rosario against DeGrom / Scherzer) and the Mets continue to demonstrate that a patient, contact-oriented offense can make Strider throw 20+ pitches per inning even if they’re not scoring much/any off him.

    That said – it would be bad form to fixate on the minor negatives one could find from last night’s game. It would also be churlish to celebrate Carrasco’s injury, though I will note that the Mets have (had) been fortunate to reach this point in the season with Scherzer, Walker, DeGrom and Carrasco all healthy and throwing well. All of those guys are good-to-amazing pitchers who for various reasons have elevated health risk. The only starter in the Mets’ rotation who pitched a full-ish season and ended last year healthy is Chris Bassitt (who, it could be noted, missed 1+ month last Aug/Sep after a facial fracture suffered on a comebacker). I continue to suspect that the Mets’ luck (both on the offensive performance and pitching health fronts) will turn a bit, and the net effect is that the Mets will not be able to run away with the NL East.

    Prediction: Neither the Braves nor the Mets win 100 this year, and the NL East is decided by the 3 game set vs the Mets that ends the Braves’ last home stand of the year. Division winner ends with 97 – 99 wins. My heart tells me it’ll be the Braves – the Mets have to be the favorite still, but UP YOURS METS!

  3. Great stuff from both Rob and Alex. Thanks!

    Snit’s loyalty (stubbornness? Blackmail? Impishness?) in playing Ozuna is frustrating. If there was no better option than Dave Kingman Lite, it would be justifiable in this stacked lineup. But he’s killing rallies and taking at-bats from players who are doing better than he.

    I’m starting to think the Mets aren’t gonna Mets their way into second place this season, but 4.5 games isn’t insurmountable, either. The rewards of finishing first would be nice, but I find myself not worrying too much about how it will affect the season. I have faith in this group of seasoned youths to go play well in the postseason, whoever and wherever they end up facing.

  4. Hope to be there again tonight. I think it’s pretty much a must-win if we want the division but there’s still enough games left for weird stuff to happen. Does the lineup last night tell us that Contreras is the DH from here on out? Please?

  5. Well Rosario . .even though he has looked better past couple weeks … was a one hit wonder last year and we are thankful for him .. but it seems to me is nothing but a LH in the DH role for the rest of year ,, hurt again … we are stuck with a couple players like Ozuna and Rosario .. id say the former gets traded and we eat almost all contract .. or he strickly is a guy you throw in DH every maybe 4 th or 5th game … looks like going to be some decisions to make shortly when Albies gets back … Albies maybe as DH till he gets all the way back … then what do you do ..Can Grissom play left field ????? I do this !!

    Acuna, rf
    Swanson, ss
    Riley. 3b
    Olsen, 1b
    d’Arnaud, c
    Albies, 2b
    contreras, DH
    grissom, lf
    m harris, cf

    and occasionally when d=arnaud gets day off throw Ozuan and Rosario in DH spot according to the pitcher …

    thoughts ????????????????????????????????

  6. Must win against Walker today. Can’t really expect to win against Scherzer and especially DeGrom.

  7. @3 I too have faith that the Braves can show up well come playoff time whether we win the NL East or not. However – the new playoff structure (see https://www.mlb.com/news/mlb-playoff-format-faq) is set up such that the winner of the NL East will get a massive leg up over the runner-up. The NL playoff seeding is almost certain to be (1) Dodgers (2) NL East Champ (3) NL Central Champ (4) NL East runner-up (5) 2nd wild card (6) 3rd wild card.

    The NL East Champ will get a bye, then play the winner of NL Central vs. 3rd wild card matchup in the NLDS, with the winner likely facing off against the Dodgers in the NLCS. By contrast, the NL East runner up will play the 2nd wild card and then the Dodgers in the NLDS. I’d be happy to let the Mets play the Padres or Phillies in the Wild Card round and then tangle with the Dodgers, leaving us to play the Cards/Brewers/Pads/Phillies for a ticket to the NLCS.

  8. @10 Always putting the positive spin on a 12 run win over a hated rival and division leader. Kudos!

  9. I heard on the radio last night that places 1-3, 4-6, and 7-9 in our batting lineup all have between 177 and 179 rbis. That is insane balance.

    In comparing this team to last year, I believe we are better or at least the same at every position except 1st base, and that is not a huge dropoff. If Yates gets right, our bullpen can be better than last year, and if Morton gets to end of year form eventually, I think a rotation of Morton, Fried, and Wright with a spot start from Odorizzi or current minor leaguer, is better than last year. That doesn’t mean we’ll win it all again, but it’s encouraging.

  10. If Soroka is ready to pitch in games, then he may need only 5 or so starts. So 25 days from now, that puts us in the second week of September, and he could make another 3-4 starts before the playoffs.

  11. As much as I would like Soroka circa 2019 to be in our postseason rotation, it may make the most sense that he just pitch in the minors to finish the season and be ready to go next year.

  12. @17 I think that just totally depends on how he looks. If he looks like a recovering stud, it might be hard to keep him off the playoff roster.

  13. If he’s throwing zeroes in AAA, you’re going to let him pitch in the bigs. If he’s throwing zeroes in the bigs, you’re gonna let him keep throwing zeroes in the bigs.

  14. One game does not a season make. By a pitcher, hitter or a team.
    Over under on runs scored by Atlanta tonight, tomorrow and Thursday?
    Total 10 maybe.
    4,3,2 Braves
    3,2,1 Mets
    Dreaming is allowed.
    Jack Johnson and Ziggy Marley this Friday.

  15. The Gwinnett Stripers’ regular season runs until 9/28.

    If he’s effective, we’ll find a place for Soroka — start, middle, long-man, whatever.

    Could be a post-season secret weapon.

  16. The wheeling continues. We will find out if Tarnok is the Thursday back up plan or is going into relief.

    Goins should be “in case of emergency, pray fervently, then if you have to, break glass” plan.

    It is like 2005 all over again. Except, I hope it doesn’t end like 2005 and the drought beyond.

  17. Good lord at the transactions these past few days.
    In just 1 week:

    •Selected Grissom
    •Optioned Boxcar
    •Arcia to IL
    •Transferred Duvall to 60-day
    •Released Ford
    •Activated Yates
    •Recalled Jay Jackson
    •Fried to 7-day
    •Recalled Heredia
    •Adrianza to 10-day IL
    •Recalled Muller
    •Recalled Elder
    •Recalled Ian
    •Optioned Muller
    •Optioned Jay Jackson
    •Reassigned Ian
    •Returned Ian to AAA
    •Recalled Danny Young
    •Optioned Elder
    •Signed FA Bernie Orozco
    •Selected Ryan Goins’ contract
    •Recalled Tarnok
    •Tromp to 10-day IL
    •Sent Soroka on Rehab
    •Designated Danny Young
    •Claimed Rylan Bannon
    •Designated Demeritte
    •Traded for Tyler White

  18. Rusty, best comment of the year!

    Soroka expected to pitch 3 innings at Rome tonight. That’s quite surprising to me and really has me already thinking ahead. If this is his Spring Training, he should be ready to throw 5 or 6 by mid-September.

  19. Damn, Tarnok now? I’ve always heard the kid has a great arm, but never thought he was close to ready. But hey, why not? If there’s one area where the Braves have earned some benefit of the doubt, it’s player promotion. Break a leg, meat!

  20. And, we will see if this year AA gets the exec of the year award. He is better at trading than the boy who took the duck to town.

  21. Indeed a great comment by Rusty. Speaking of comments, I didn’t respond at the time, but JonathanF’s comment last night about getting to Medina was pretty impressive.

  22. @25 – Tough business for Danny Young, to get called up, throw 2 2/3 scoreless, and DFA’d in 24 hours. A ring would be nice consolation.

    I guess he’ll clear waivers though.

  23. He comin’

  24. Soroka with 4 scoreless innings, 8 K’s, and 1 hit! (Was perfect through the first 3 innings, with all 8 K’s coming in those frames.)

    And most importantly, no injuries!

  25. Charlie’s not foolin’ around tonight. He looks locked-in, so far.

    Love how the last 3 hitters were looking for the 2-strike wrinkle & he just paints the corner with a heater.

    #33
    Nice to hear.

  26. Looks like Walker’s coming out… time to clean up, fellas.

    This guy hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2015.

    EDIT: Boom!

  27. Gotta be the longest home run to RF in the brief history of Truist Park. At least the longest that I’ve seen. Holy cow.

  28. Well, the umpire just gave Ronald an absolute gift on the fourth “ball” of the walk he just received.

  29. I hope they leave Lee in for the eighth, now. Let’s keep the relievers fresh for the NYM big SPs.

  30. Whoa!

  31. How sweet it is.

    Every once in a while, the Braves have hit Max good. I think we’re due.

    Hoping for a 5-4 type of win on Wednesday night. I’ll be there, in my favorite seats (front row, left field line).

  32. I am duly impressed. Great job Atlanta Braves. Yesterday and today were very special in 1969. I am hoping that continues for two more days.
    Woodstock was actually four days. With Jimi closing it out on the fourth day in unforgettable fashion.

  33. Seeing 8 years, $72 mil. Which would buy out 3 FA years obviously. I guess when you know, you know. Looks like a win for all parties. Kid gets guaranteed generational wealth and the Braves lock up another superstar in the making before he gets even more expensive. Also these extensions provide AA with more cost certainty in future seasons which could help with Dansby negotiations.

  34. Two nights in a row of perfect baseball. Wish I could attend the next two as well but the beer is a lot cheaper on my couch. Our lineup is locked in. Good ABs up and down the lineup. One through nine can all take you deep. Ronnie was super patient tonight and took his walks. Bodes well as we head towards October ball.

    Mets fans in our section were still chirping. That’s fine – I can’t wait to see their mid-August 1st place trophies. I feel like that debacle in NY a couple weeks ago woke us up and we’re about to watch the defending WS champs play like we know they can.

  35. With the current market it is hard to imagine how signing Harris to that kind of deal will be bad for either party. If he turns out really good, he will have a huge payday at 30. I guess they will wait a few more weeks to sign Grissom (-:

  36. The money that’s dished around in baseball these days, it seems like these kids are leaving a lot on the table.

  37. @63 $72 million is a lot of money for 3 months work. And yes, we all hope that this works out and it it does then Harris can add on at age 29. On the other side of the tale is Jason Heyward. I think it’s a great deal for both sides, but I’ll watch out for the hot takes

    @62 Yes it is, but…
    I’ve been around here long enough to recall the conversations about payroll levels, investment in the team etc. A subject which no longer seems to be raised, and while the Braves have obviously employed a GM who knows what he’s doing, he’s only able to do his job effectively because the financial backing is there, and the Harris extension is only the latest evidence of this. The phrase “service time manipulation” would appear not to exist as far as the Braves are concerned

    From a wider perspective, this approach must have fans of Oakland, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and so on through to so-called middle market teams bemoaning their fates. I suspect that this is a subject matter too wide and too deep for my knowledge, but has so much really changed to the Braves as a franchise over the last 3 years that the gap between them and the teams previously regarded as their payroll peers has become a gulf?

  38. No doubt. I think it’s ultimately a smart move for Harris. He earned $72,000,000 in less than 300 MLB plate appearances. Regardless of what happens, he can relax and be set for life.

    On top of that, he skips over league minimum and goes straight to a $5MM salary next year with less than a year of service time. That’s huge.

  39. @62 My sentiments exactly.

    I was so excited when he came to Atlanta because I got to see up close what he did in Toronto.

  40. “Youngest Georgia-born player to debut for the Braves” sounds like some Heyward shade! Jason grew up in Georgia even if he was born in New Jersey.

    To me, the key to this deal is the club option years at the end in 2031 and 2032. Man – we get to see this guy for another decade!

    God, this is the coolest. I am so thrilled. Hot dog!

  41. I’m sure this will get JC’d but I thought I’d do a little thought experiment based on the Harris extention news.

    I’m going to name a current Brave and then two former players and you pick which of them their entire career will most resemble…

    *Acuna – Roberto Clemente (or a player slightly below this level but still 1st ballot HOF) or Eric Davis
    *Albies – Jeff Kent-very lite ( I think the Joe Morgan train has long left the bldg) or Bret Boone (high peaks but low lows .266 career BA)
    *Harris Jr. – Kenny Lofton or Marquis Grissom (.272 career BA 23 HR high in career)
    *Vaughn Grissom- Babe Ruth or Rogers Hornsby :)
    *Ian Anderson- 4.5 career ERA innings eater 5th starter type or mid to higher 3s ERA 3rd starter material
    *Max Fried – Continued #1/Ace or future decline to 3rd – 4th starter faster than most
    *Spencer Strider – 180+ career wins guy(no one is going to win 300 games anymore or probably not so thresholds are much lower in my scenario) or flash in the pan that settles into a mid-rotation starter
    *Austin Riley- Mike Schmidt-lite or a perennial All Star but non HOF type guy.
    *Mike Soroka- 100 career wins or… under that and never really is able to get healthy

  42. Glad we have some young talent locked in for a few years ..Im just always a little leary of them getting complacent .. I think we seen some of that with Albies, Acuna, Riley ( a little bit – he was on a tear the week before he signed ) – curious to see numbers since signing the big contract ..

  43. Riley signed his big contract Aug 1 … Riley hitting .200 in Aug .. 1 HR and 6 RBI’s

    Adding to Riley ..the month of July he hit .423 11HR and 25 RBI’s .. but thats his MVP stats .. hope he snaps out of it soon …

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