The Mets (42-50) lost to the Braves (50-42) by a score of 3-1 on Thursday night at Citi Field as Atlanta salvaged the final game of a four-game series.
Bartolo Colon got the start for the Mets and struggled out of the gate, but settled in before long and ended up turning in 8 innings of work, allowing 3 runs on 10 hits while striking out 7 and walking none.
The Braves got to Colon in the first inning, which has been the norm for teams facing Bartolo this season. After Andrelton Simmons singled, Freddie Freeman doubled him in and came in to score on a base hit by Jason Heyward.
Colon gave up 2 more hits to start the top of the 2nd, but was gifted a double-play thanks to a missed bunt and some overzealous baserunning.
The Mets snapped former Met Aaron Harang‘s streak of 8 2/3 hitless innings against New York in the top of the 2nd, when Juan Lagares doubled off the wall with 2 outs. Ruben Tejada came to the plate as the 7th hitter in the lineup, but with the pitcher Colon batting 8th tonight, Harang could afford to pitch around Tejada. Ruben walked, and Colon struck out to end the inning and strand Juan.
The Braves got another pair of hits to lead off the 3rd, and although Colon got Heyward to ground into a double-play, Simmons was able to score on the play and put Atlanta up 3-0.
The Mets got on the board in the bottom of the third. After Eric Young singled and stole 2nd, Daniel Murphy walked, and David Wright singled into left field to cut the Braves’ lead to 3-1 and put the tying runs on base. However, Lucas Duda and Travis d’Arnaud were unable to get the job done, and Harang escaped further trouble.
Colon surrendered 2 more hits in the top of the 4th, but got out of the jam and settled into a groove after that. The Mets made things difficult in the 5th, but d’Arnaud was unable to come through with the bases loaded. The next few innings went by without much action.
The Mets tried to rally in the bottom of the 8th, but with 2 on and 2 out, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez brought in closer Craig Kimbrel to go for a four-out save. Kimbrel fanned pinch-hitter Kirk Nieuwenhuis and retired the side in order in the 9th to wrap up the win for Atlanta.
At one point in the game, Bartolo Colon outran Jason Heyward. In my humble opinion, the Braves should have been forced to forfeit the game when that happened. Alas, the umps decided to let the game play out…
Colon looked miserable at the start of the game, but found a way to turn in a very solid outing. There is a very good chance he will be traded at the end of the month, and games like this certainly won’t hurt his trade value.
The offense had been firing on all cylinders lately, but came out flat in this one. Hopefully the bats pick it back up tomorrow.
We all wanted the sweep, but you can’t complain about taking 3 of 4 from the Braves. Now we have to get a series win against Miami and maintain some positive momentum.