After getting swept by the Braves last weekend and losing again to them Thursday night, the Mets needed to put their formal rival, now the worst team in baseball, in their place. It looked like they were going to make a big statement early on Friday night, but the Braves mounted a comeback that fell a bit short.
The Mets got the scoring going in the second. Neil Walker, who had three hits on the night, led off with a single. James Loney was hit by a pitch. Flores hit a ground rule double to plate one run and Travis d’Arnaud grounded out to drive in another one.
It was a similar story in the fourth. Walker led off with a single, Loney doubled and Michael Conforto was intentionally walked to load the bases. d’Arnaud came through again with a single to drive in two runs and Steven Matz hit a sacrifice fly to score another as the Mets built a 5-0 lead.
In the fifth, Asdrubal Cabrera walked, Walker singled and Loney homered to extend the lead to 8-0.
The Braves finally got on board in the bottom of the fifth, and in a big way. Three straight doubles (the second one a gift when Yoenis Cespedes couldn’t find a fly ball) made it 8-2. A single and then a three-run pinch hit home run by Brandon Snyder made it an 8-5 game. Three more singles made it 8-6 and that was all for Matz. Hansel Robles came in with runners on first and second with one out and got the final two outs of the inning.
Matz went 4.1 innings, allowing six runs on nine hits. He didn’t walk any batters, but he also didn’t strike any out, either. It’s the first time he failed to record a strikeout in a game.
Jeurys Familia was called on with one on and two outs in the eighth for the four-out save. He got out of the eighth with just one pitch. In the ninth, Tyler Flowers led off with a single. He hit next batter. Chase d’Arnaud, Travis’ big brother, represented the potential winning run. Then Mets got a gift — the Braves had him bunting for some stupid reason (really, down two, you are going to give an out away?!), and he popped it up to third. Wilmer Flores made a diving attempt and trapped the ball. He ran to third for the force out, then fired to second because the runner on first never ran. It went for a double play. Familia struck out Jace Peterson for the final out. The ball got past d’Arnaud; his throw to first a was bit wide, and Loney had to make an incredible catch. The Braves challenged whether LOney stayed on the base, delaying the on-field celebration. But the play was upheld and the game was over. It was Familia’s 25th straight save to start the season, a new Mets record.
Mets win an odd one, 8-6.