Well, we couldn’t get all the way through this series without succumbing to at least a couple of the problems that had been plaguing us early in the week, I guess. Yonny Chirinos and Collin McHugh contrived to allow six runs in a disastrous fifth inning, turning what had been a 3-1 Braves lead and a decent start by Chirinos into a mess. The Braves came close to rallying from four runs down late, but came up a run short.
As was the case all series last week in Pittsburgh, the nightmare inning was part bad luck, part crappy defense and part a complete inability to make a freaking pitch when doing so would’ve ended the inning much sooner. There was a weird catcher’s interference call and Austin Riley left an out on the table with a momentary bobble on a play at third. But mostly there were four straight batters who got a virtual free pass (three walks and the catcher’s interference), and the Mets scored runs directly off of three of those plate appearances. That’s, um…not winning baseball.
McHugh was a significant part of the problem, to be sure. He would’ve executed the rare triple Grybo with a stick of the landing had it not been for the interference. As it was, he allowed a single unearned run to go with the triple Gyrbo…so I’d say a half-point deduction for a small step backward to steady himself on the landing.
I’m not prepared to take this gymnastics metaphor any further, so back to Chirinos. Uh, yeah…can we be done with this guy already? I’m not as convinced as everyone else that they’re going to cut bait here, mainly because they seem fascinated by the prospect of doing anything they can possibly do to not pull the trigger on the obvious thing, which is giving Michael Soroka the spot for the rest of the season and seeing what he can do. I very much hope that that’s what they do now, but we’ll see (and if they do what Roger suggested late in the last thread and throw bullpen games until Kyle Wright comes back, I’m going to scream into a pillow).
On the plus side, the offense still scored six runs. A bases-clearing double by Marcell Ozuna gave the Braves a 3-0 lead in the first, then after they squandered that, home runs by Sean Murphy and Matt Olson (his 43rd) brought the visitors to within a run. It wasn’t to be, though.
Still, the Braves turned in a 6-5 road trip after a bunch of people were wringing their hands over how bad it was mere days ago. And a 6-5 road trip is certainly fine. They kept their 11-game division lead too, after the Phillies lost another one to the Twins. And now for a long homestand: three with the Yankees, three with San Francisco and, oh look, three more with those loveable Mets. Unfortunately, those three games will be the last we see of the Mets this year.