|David Peterson on the mound for the Mets during the first game. Photo by Jason Schott.|
The Mets swept the Braves in a doubleheader on Tuesday at Citi Field, as they won the first game, 5-4, and shutout Atlanta, 3-0, in the nightcap as Carlos Carrasco threw eight shutout innings. The Mets are now 18-8 on the season, best in the National League.
Though it’s early, they have opened up a seven-game lead on the defending World Champions, who fell to 11-15, in the National League East. Miami is currently in second with a record of 12-11, and Philadelphia is third at 11-13.
This was precipitated by their brief two-game series, which would have taken place on April 4 and 5, in the first week of the season being lost due to the lockout. The other game will be made up on Saturday, August 6 as part of a day-night doubleheader, with games at 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
GAME 1: METS 5, BRAVES 4
The Mets won this one with tremendous pitching, as David Peterson earned his first win of the season with a solid outing in a spot start, and then Adam Ottavino, Drew Smith, and Edwin Diaz provided four scoreless innings in relief.
The Mets jumped out to the early lead in this one against Braves starter Charlie Morton, who entered this one with a 1-2 record and an uncharacteristic 7.00 ERA.
In the first, Pete Alonso and Eduardo Escobar had RBI singles in the first inning to make it 2-0.
Atlanta got one back in the second whan Adam Duvall drew a one-out walk, followed by a Dansby Swanson double that brought him to third, and he came in on a sacrifice fly by Travis Demeritte.
The Mets went right back at it in the bottom of the second, as Luis Guillorme walked to open the inning, then after Tomas Nido popped out, Travis Jankowski walked, and Mark Canha hit one to second that Ozzie Albies fielded and tried to get Jankowski at second, but Dansby Swanson did not get over in time, so everyone was safe.
Francisco Lindor hit one to second that was a force out, and it brought in Guillorme, and Alonso got another RBI single to bring in Jankowski and make it 4-1 Mets.
They tacked on another run, which would turn out to be very valuable, in the fourth when Jankowski reached on a fielder's choice, stole second, and reached third on a throwing error on the attempt by Atlanta catcher Travis d'Arnaud. A Canha sacrifice fly would bring home Jankowksi and make it 5-1.
In the fifth, Atlanta put some pressure on Peterson, as Demeritte led off with a single, and then with one out, Albies hit a dribbler that Peterson couldn't handle, so instead of having an inning-ending double play, the inning continued.
Braves first baseman Matt Olson took advantage, and he ripped a three-run home run to pull Atlanta within a run, at 5-4.
In the sixth, with Morton still in there for Atlanta, the Mets had a chance to add some insurance. Guillorme and Janksowski each had singles, and Atlanta turned to Jesse Chaves with two on and two out for Canha, and he struck him out.
Morton went 5 2/3 innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on six hits and three walks, with three strikeouts. He was one or two well-timed hits away from being knocked out in those first two innings, but he did what veterans do and kept his team in the game.
Peterson went five innings, and allowed four runs (three earned) on four hits and three walks, with six strikeouts.
Ottavino was in next, coming off a nice outing Monday night in which he struck out the side in the ninth inning. He kept that going in this one, as he retired Duvall and Swanson and then got Demeritte to ground to second to complete another perfect inning.
Drew Smith, in his first action since he threw 1 1/3 innings in Friday's combined no-hitter, threw two innings in this one, in which he didn't allow a hit, surrendered just a walk, and struck out two.
Edwin Diaz came on for the ninth, and struck out Swanson and Demeritte before allowing a single to pinch-hitter Orlando Arcia. He then got Albies to ground out to second to end it and earn his fifth save of the season.
GAME 2: METS 3,BRAVES 0
Carlos Carrasco’s last outing at Citi Field, in which he shut down the San Francisco Giants on April 21 was an appetizer to what he did to Atlanta.
The right-hander nicknamed Cookie, which was ironically a trivia contest question during the game, threw eight shutout innings, scattering six hits and two walks, while notching five strikeouts, to improve to 2-1 on the season, with an ERA of 3.30.
Carrasco was off a tough outing in St. Louis last Wednesday, got the start for the Mets in this one, and he ran into trouble in a hurry.
Ronald Acuna, Jr. led the game off with a double, but Carrasco settled in to retire Matt Olson on a grounder to second base, which did move Acuna to third with one out. Austin Riley struck out, removing the chance at a sacrifice fly, and Marcell Ozuna grounded back to Carrasco to end the inning.
Just as they did in the first game, the Mets cashed in quickly in the bottom of the first. Brandon Nimmo, back to his customary leadoff spot after having Game 1 off, led off with a single, and then Jeff McNeil got a one-out single before Pete Alonso grounded out.
Dom Smith, who did not play the opener, was at first base in this one, and he received a nice ovation as the crowd was reacting to the Mets keeping him around when the roster was trimmed yesterday. He rewarded their cheers with a double into the left field corner to bring in Nimmo and McNeil and make it 2-0 Mets.
In the second, Atlanta got singles from Ozzie Albies and Adam Duvall to open the inning, but just as in the first, Carrasco got out of it, striking out Travis Demeritte, getting Dansby Swanson to pop out to the catcher,and striking out William Contreras.
Smith had another big chance in the bottom of the third, after McNeil and Alonso got two-out singles, but he grounded to short to end the inning.
Carrasco settled in, with the Duvall hit in the second being the last one until he allowed a single to Contreras with two out in the fifth before he got Acuna to ground out. The only runner between the base hits was Acuna, who walked to open the third, and he was erased when Olson hit into a double play.
Atlanta got a lead off double from Olson in the top pf the sixth, and he moved to third on a Riley ground out to second, but Carrasco once again got out of it with a strike out of Ozuna and he got Albies to ground out.
In the bottom half, Alonso led off with a home run into the Mets bullpen in right field, his fifth of the year and 21st RBI, to make it 3-0.
After Edwin Diaz closed out the first game, it was up to Seth Lugo to finish off Game 2, and he did, working around an Albies single and getting Demeritte to hit into a double play to end it, and earn his second save.