By: Paul DiSclafani
To paraphrase the immortal words of Bart’s friend Milhouse on “The Simpsons”, “Everything’s coming up Metsies!”
In a game that they did their best to give away to the Braves, the Mets (82-61) moved 21 games over .500 with another come from behind win, this time in 10 innings, as they beat the Braves, 10-7. Trailing 7-4 in the ninth inning with two outs and no one on, the Mets tied the game on a Daniel Murphy 3R home run and then won it in the 10th. Mets have won seven in a row and completed a four game sweep in Atlanta for the first time since 1985 – the weekend of the July 4-5 extra inning game that ended at 3:55am.
With the Nationals also winning, the Mets lead in the NL East remained at 9.5 games, but they reduced their Magic Number down to 11 (Wayne Garrett). The win gave the Mets a 37-37 record on the road for the first time in ages. On July 31, the Mets were 19-32 on the road.
Peter Moylan, the Braves fourth pitcher, struck out Reuben Tejada and Kevin Plawecki to start the ninth and came within inches of completing the win when right fielder Nick Markakis dove for a Juan Lagares liner, just missing it for the third out. With Lagares on second, Moylan walked Curtis Granderson on a 3-1 pitch to bring up Murphy as the tying run.
Murphy crushed a 0-1 delivery into right center for a three run, game tying home run. Are you kidding me?
Beleaguered reliever Bobby Parnell, who came on to finish the 8th inning and completed a 1-2-3 ninth, got the win when the Mets completed the comeback in the 10th striking again with two out and no one on.
Edwin Jackson, the sixth Braves pitcher, got the first two outs before walking Kirk Nieuwenhuis on a 3-1 count. Tejada then singled to right, sending Nieuwenhuis all the way to third. And when Plawecki grounded to Hector Olivera at third, it looked like the inning was over, but his throw to second pulled Dan Castro off the bag, allowing Nieuwenhuis to score to give the Mets the lead, 8-7. Then with the bases loaded, Curtis Granderson worked out a walk to force in a run and make it 9-7. Another pitcher, another bases loaded walk. This time to Murphy (his 4th RBI in 15 minutes) and it was 10-7. Mets get 3 unearned runs in the inning.
You almost forgot how they got here, blowing a 2-0 lead thanks to a Michael Conforto HR when starter Jonathan Niese gave up four hits in the 3rd inning as the Braves tied the game, 2-2. But Niese (ND) settled down, although he was touched for a run in the 6th on a sacrifice fly after a Uribe error to give the Braves a 3-2 lead.
Granderson put the Mets ahead in the 7th with a bases loaded single to make it 4-3. Terry Collins then lifted Niese for a very different bullpen parade with Jeurys Familia and Tyler Clippard not available.
Tim Stauffer gave up three consecutive singles in the 7th and the Braves tied the game 4-4. In the 8th, Stauffer was relieved by Dario Alvarez after an infield single put a runner on first. Alvarez then hit Nick Swisher to put two runners on and got the second out on a fly ball. Castro singled to left to give the Braves the lead again, 5-4 and after Alvarez walked Freddie Freeman, in came Bobby Parnell, who promptly gave up a 2-run single to Adonis Garcia, putting the Braves ahead 7-4 and setting up Murphy’s ninth inning dramatics.
Mets heading home after an 8-2 road trip to face the Marlins in a three game series before a much-needed day off on Thursday. Logan Verrett (1-1) starts things off on Monday in place of Matt Harvey, who the Mets have announced will have a reduced workload the rest of the way instead of having him skip starts.
POSITIVES: Mets have scored 3+ runs in the late innings (7-8-9) seven straight games, a club record … Tejada had two hits … What, no Cespedes Home Run today? He had the day off … Granderson had 3 RBI with a hit and two walks …
NEGATIVES: Good thing these guys are not being counted on in the playoffs: Stauffer and Alvarez combined for 4 R, 4H and a walk in less than two innings … Braves used 7 pitchers, six in the last four innings.