Atlanta-The New York Mets let another game slip through their fingers in Atlanta. The Mets have let far too many leads slip away this season due to a failure to tack on runs and the failures of the bullpen. The goat for the Mets (37-46) tonight was reliever Jeurys Familia, who melted down in the eighth inning to give up four runs and allow the Atlanta Braves (45-38) to come back and win 5-3.
The Mets gained the early lead in the top of the first inning, when Curtis Granderson led off the game with a solo home run. Granderson's solo shot off of Alex Wood was his 11th of the season and gave the Mets a 1-0 lead. The Mets added another run in the second on an RBI double from Travis d'Arnaud, and a Chris Young sacrifice fly in the third put them up 3-0.
That lead looked good for Zack Wheeler, who bounced back from his poor start against the Oakland A's. Wheeler struggled a bit with his control, walking five in 6.1 innings of work, but he was able to get himself out of trouble most of the time. The only damage the Braves caused against Wheeler came on a sacrifice fly from Freddie Freeman in the fifth inning, which cut the Mets' lead to 3-1. Wheeler left the game in the seventh in line for a win, having tossed 6.1 innings of one run ball while giving up four hits and striking out four.
The Mets maintained the lead into the eighth inning, when they turned to Jeurys Familia to hold it for Jenrry Mejia in the ninth. Familia gave up back to back singles to start the inning, then induced what should have been a double play ball on a comebacker from Chris Johnson. Familia fired a terrible throw to second, allowing all the runners to reach safely and setting himself up for a load of trouble. Braves' second baseman Tommy LaStella followed with a single right up the middle to bring home Justin Upton to make it 3-2. Jason Heyward was initially held up at third, but came home after Juan Lagares over ran the ball in center. Heyward scored on the error to tie the game at three.
Familia finally got an out by recording a fielder's choice, but loaded the bases back up by losing Ryan Doumit to a walk after having him down 0-2 in the count. Familia struck out B.J. Upton to get the second out, Andrelton Simmons then grounded a ball to third base, but Eric Campbell couldn't make the throw in time, allowing the go ahead run to score and give the Braves a 4-3 lead. Familia (L, 1-3) was pulled after that, having given up four runs in only two thirds of an inning of work. Only one of the runs was earned thanks to three Mets' errors in the frame. Dana Eveland came in to pitch and walked the first man he faced with the bases loaded to force in another run, making it 5-3. Eveland got a fielder's choice from Justin Upton to finally end the nightmare inning, but the damage had been done.
The Mets went down meekly in the ninth as Braves' closer Craig Kimbrel retired the side in order to pick up his 25th save of the season. The comeback ranks as one of the Mets' most shocking losses of the year, and is the team's fifth loss in their last six games. The Mets will need to bounce back quickly from the loss or else they could find themselves up to 10 games out of the division race by the time this series is over.
Player of the Game:
We're giving tonight's POTG award to LaStella, whose two run single tied the game after Familia's critical error opened the door for the big inning. LaStella went 1 for 2 on the night with an RBI and two walks.
Post Game Notes:
- Anthony Varvaro (W, 3-1) picked up the win in relief for the Braves.
- David Wright's re-evaluation determined that he will be out of action until Friday. As a result, the Mets will play with a 24 man roster for the next two games.
- The Mets are closer to the worst record in baseball (2.5 games) than they are to a playoff spot (8 games).
- With the season just over halfway done, the Mets would need to go 53-26 over their last 79 games to match Sandy Alderson's 90 win talk from the spring.
The Mets will look to bounce back in the second game of their series with the Braves Tuesday night. Daisuke Matsuzaka (3-2, 3.23 ERA) and Mike Minor (2-5, 4.50 ERA) will be on the mound. First pitch at Turner Field is scheduled for 7:10 pm.
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