The Mets may have gotten a glimpse of the future last night, as it pertains to the NL East.
It wasn’t pretty.
The Mets were hoping to build off a series win in San Diego, as they welcomed the Braves to Citi Field. Noah Syndergaard took the mound in the series opener.
Ozzie Albies led off the game, taking a 99 MPH sinker to right for a single. The Braves number 1 prospect, Ronald Acuña laced a double to left field. Freddie Freeman followed with a double of his own, and the Mets were quickly behind 2-0. Nick Markakis singled to bring home Freeman and the Braves had a quick 3-0 lead.
That was all the offense Noah Syndergaard allowed. He pitched 6 innings, and allowed the 3 runs we just discussed. He gave up 10 hits and 1 walk. Surprisingly, he only had 3 strikeouts. You love to see him continue to be stingy with the walks; he’s only allowed 6 this season.
If Albies, Acuña, and Freeman in the lineup back-to-back wasn’t scary enough, the Braves called up one off their top pitching prospects, Mike Soroka, for last night’s game. Soroka was great, and Atlanta has more on the way.
Soroka scattered 6 hits over 6 innings. He struck out 5, and didn’t walk a batter. He only allowed 1 run, which came on this Yoenis Cespedes solo homerun.
Cespedes’ inclusion in the lineup was a pleasant surprise. After injuring his thumb on a head first slide Sunday, he thought that he would be out for at least 3 games. Cespedes stayed hot, pacing the Mets offense with 3 hits. He also was impressive in the field. Here’s what happened when Kurt Suzuki tried to score from 2nd on a base hit.
The Mets were happy to see Mike Soroka leave the game, but weren’t able to do anything against Shane Carle, Dan Winkler or A.J Minter either. Their chance came in the 9th inning against Arodys Vizcaino.
Todd Frazier led off the bottom of the 9th with a single. Adrian Gonzalez followed with a lazy pop-up to shallow right center field. No one took charge and the ball fell in between Ender Inciarte, Nick Markakis, and Dansby Swanson.
Trailing 3-1, the Mets had the tying runs on base with nobody out.
Amed Rosario stepped up to the plate and had an awful at bat. On the first two pitches he showed bunt, pulled the bat back and swung, attempting a “butcher boy” play. He fouled the first pitch off, and then missed the second one completely. On an 0-2 count, he swung at a ball a foot off the plate inside, striking out.
Wilmer Flores was next. After a wild pitch allowed the runners to advance to 2nd and 3rd, he grounded out to shortstop. Todd Frazier scored on the play, but the Mets were still down a run, down to their last out. Jose Reyes, pinch hitting for the pitcher, hit a fly ball to left field. Ronald Acuña got turned around by the ball, and nearly slipped, but eventually made the catch which ended the game.
The Braves did their best to let the Mets back in the game in the 9th inning, but New York could not capitalize.
The bullpen did not allow a run. Jerry Blevins was much better, which is a positive sign. He came in and retired Freddie Freeman and Nick Markakis. AJ Ramos was shaky, allowing 2 hits, but was able to work out of it. Seth Lugo worked the final 2 innings, giving up 2 hits and striking out 2.
Michael Conforto’s struggles continue. He went 0-4 with a strikeout. That strikeout came in the 8th inning with Asdrubal Cabrera on base with nobody out.
Amed Rosario. It hurts to see him struggle like this as Atlanta’s prospects are running all over the bases. He had another awful at bat against a division rival in a huge spot. In this instance, he just needed to put the ball in play which he was not able to do.
The Mets are officially a win now team. Our window is being held open by an index card. These Atlanta Braves are coming, and they may even be ahead of schedule. Ahead of schedule to the point where they may be ready to compete in 2018.
The bottom of this lineup is a black hole, and Alderson said before the game no catching help is coming.
DeGrom is on the hill for game 2 of the series, so maybe he can help to quiet the concerns for a day.