Saturday, August 6, 2022

Game 1: Peterson's Superb Pitching & Pop From Lindor Lead Mets Past Braves


Francisco Lindor raises his arms at second base after his two-run double in the sixth inning. Photo by Jason Schott.

The Mets, backed by a great start from David Peterson and a three-hit, two-RBI effort from Francisco Lindor, beat the Braves, 8-5, in on Saturday afternoon at Citi Field in the first game of the day-night doubleheader.

The Mets, who have won two of the first three games of this five-game set, improved to 68-39, and pushed their lead in the National League East back to 4 1/2 games over the Braves, who fell to 64-44.

Peterson always gave the Mets solid efforts as a starter for most of the season, as proven by the 5-2 record, with a 3.54 ERA, he took into this spot start. 

The left-handed Peterson opened the game by gettinbg Ronald Acuna, Jr., to ground out to shortstop and Dansby Swanson to fly to center. Then, he gave up a single to Austin Riley, walked Matt Olson, and Travis d'Arnaud was hit by a pitch. Peterson, as he does often, escaped the bases-loaded jam by getting Robbie Grossman to line out to short to end the inning.

David Peterson reacting to Robbie Grossman's lineout to end the first inning. Photo by Jason Schott.

The Mets wasted no time getting to Braves starter Jake Odorizzi, who was making his Atlanta debut after being acquired from Houston at the trade deadline. After Brandon Nimmo flew out to right field to open the game, Starling Marte was hit by a pitch, Lindor then singled on a dribbler down the third base line, and Pete Alonso got the Mets on the board with an RBI single. New fan favorite Daniel Vogelbach then got an RBI single of his own to make it 2-0 Mets. Jeff McNeil hit into a double play to end the inning.

The Mets added to their lead in the third when Lindor singled, and then with two out, Odorizzi threw one away at first on a pick-off attempt, and the Mets made him pay when McNeil singled to bring in Lindor easily to make it 3-0. This was McNeil's ninth straight game with an RBI, and in that span, he is hitting .425 (17-40). He finished 2-for-5 in this one.

By this point, Peterson was cruising. He worked around a walk to Orlando Arcia in the second inning, then retired Atlanta in order in the third, and then worked out of a two runners on, one out jam, in the fourth by getting Arcia to hit into a double play. In the fifth, he worked around a one-out double by Acuna, Jr., by getting Swanson to fly to right field and Riley to pop out to second to escape trouble. 

Peterson opened the sixth with a strikeout of Olson, which was the 200th of his career, and that turned out to be the end of his afternoon, so the ovation for that achievement continued into one appreciating his performance as he left the field.

The final line for Peterson was: 5 1/3 innings pitched, 3 hits, 0 runs, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts, and his record is now 6-2 with a 3.30 ERA.

Peterson has a 2.39 ERA (10 earned runs in 37.2 innings) over his last seven starts. He has 54 strikeouts during that span, the most strikeouts by a Mets left-handed starter in a seven-game span since Johan Santana struck out 60 batters in seven starts from April 12 to May 16, 2009. 

Peterson has held opposing batters to a .036 average (1-28) with runners in scoring position over his last seven starts. He has allowed four hits or fewer in 14 of his 18 starts this season and 32 of his 43 career games. He has allowed 163 hits in his career, and only Nolan Ryan allowed less hits by a Mets pitcher, just 144, in their first 43 major league games (minimum 175 innings).

The Mets added to their lead in the bottom of the sixth against Braves reliever Tyler Matzek with a two-out rally, started by walks by Nimmo and Marte. Lindor then crushed one to center field that went off the orange line, missing a home run by inches, and it was a two-run double that made it 5-0.

In the top of the seventh, with Seth Lugo on for the Mets after he finished the sixth, Arcia led off with a double and he scored on a single from Acuna, Jr. Lugo then struck out Swanson looking and then hit Riley on a pitch up-and-in, and in came Adam Ottavino. 

Olson greeted him with a single to bring in Acuna, Jr., and that made it a 5-2 game. d'Arnaud grounded one back to Ottavino to end the inning.

In the bottom of the seventh, with Bryce Elder on for the Braves, Mark Canha reached on a hit-by-pitch with one out, and then Luis Guillorme singled, and James McCann got an RBI single. Nimmo then singled to load the bases, and Marte laced a single to bring in Guillorme before McCann came in on a sacrifice fly by Lindor to make it 8-2 Mets. Lindor hit this one to deep left, and just missed a grand slam by inches. Alonso followed with another bomb to deep left that just fell short of being #30.

Ottavino worked around a couple singles to get out of the eighth, and Yoan Lopez came on for the ninth, and he allowed an RBI single to Olson and a two-run double to Grossman that made it an 8-5 game.

The Mets had no real choice but to go to closer Edwin Diaz, and he got William Contreras to ground to shortstop, and Eddie Rosario, who was pinch-hitting for Arcia to strike out to end it. That gave Diaz his 25th save of the season, and second in this series.

After the game, Peterson was sent down to Triple-A Syracuse, as there is no spot in the starting rotation for him with both Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom back in the fold.

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