The Mets (12-3) won their tenth game in a row on Wednesday night, beating the Braves (8-6) at Citi Field by a score of 3-2.
Dillon Gee pitched for the Mets and tightroped his way through seven innings of two-run ball, working around eight hits and a walk, striking out three.
After the Mets squandered John Mayberry‘s leadoff triple in the bottom of the first against Eric Stults, the Braves scored when AJ Pierzynski slid in just ahead of the tag from his counterpart Kevin Plawecki on Andrelton Simmons‘ RBI single. The Mets got the run back in the bottom of the inning when Flores singled in Eric Campbell, who had doubled.
Dillon Gee helped himself out of a jam with his glove in the top of the fourth, making an athletic play to start a 1-6-3 double-play and escape a jam. But Gee couldn’t work around Eric Young‘s triple in the fifth, as EY scored on a sacrifice fly from Alberto Callaspo to give the Braves a 2-1 lead.
The best #5 starter in baseball got through the next two innings with the help of a double-play and an absolutely ludicrous catch from Juan Lagares, taking his handshakes in the dugout after seven strong frames on the hill. In the bottom of the seventh, the Mets took their pitcher off the hook when Flores lined a solo shot to left-center, making it a 2-2 ballgame.
Sean Gilmartin came in for Gee to pitch the top of the eighth, and got two quick outs. The lefty then got into trouble with two straight walks, one of which came on a VERY questionable (read: bad) call on a 3-2 pitch to Freddie Freeman. Buddy Carlyle came in to face the pinch-hitter Jonny Gomes and got the job done, inducing a pop-up to end the threat.
The Mets took the lead in the bottom of the eighth with some first-place baseball. Curtis Granderson worked a leadoff walk after falling behind 0-2. A hit-and-run with Lagares at the plate paid off for Terry Collins‘ club, as Juan rolled one right to the spot the second baseman had just vacated, giving the Mets runners on the corners. Lucas Duda drove in the go-ahead run with a base-hit, putting the hosts up 3-2.
The Mets were unable to add any insurance despite loading the bases, but Jeurys Familia breezed to his seventh save in the top of the ninth, wrapping up a win for the Amazin’s.
Yes, we can call them the Amazin’s. We can also call them “The best team in baseball,” now that they have a league-high 12 wins. The Mets won’t go 159-3 (I think, but I also thought the Knicks would go 42-40, so take that with a grain of salt) but they’ve looked very good over the past couple weeks and it has led to results. They need to try to ride this wave as long as possible, because even the best teams will hit some rough patches, and the teams behind us in the standings (every other MLB team, in other words) will go on hot streaks of their own (well, except for the Phillies). We’re up 3.5 on the Braves and, more importantly, 5 on the Nationals. The wider we can make that gap early, the better prepared we can be to take some body punches later in the season. So while it’s too early to “scoreboard watch” in earnest, games played in April count just as much as games played in September when all is said and done.
Gee wasn’t dominant tonight. He was never in control of the game. But he got through seven (and five, for the MLB-high umpteenth time in a row). And the Braves only got two guys across the plate. So what more can you ask for from your #5 guy?
Flores came up big today, tying the game with aa base-hit early and again with a homer late. He also looked OK in the field. And if he stays in the groove he’s settled into at the plate, “OK” is more than enough.
Especially when other guys on the diamond are committing outright robbery. To the Braves fans on Twitter mocking Juan Lagares’ Gold Glove credibility after he “failed” to throw out the fastest runner in the game on a deep fly ball with his momentum going away from the plate… that catch in the seventh was for you. Tejada also made a great leaping snowcone grab earlier in the game, although I got a bit greedy and hoped that he had dropped it to start a cheap double-play.
Buddy Carlyle got the win tonight. I’m willing to bet that at least 30% of people who watched the game didn’t notice Buddy Carlyle was on the mound tonight. Reminder #373: Wins are a stupid stat with which to judge a pitcher. But the MMO community is a smart one, so I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir here.
Duda’s game-winning hit came about 35 seconds after Kevin Hayes scored a game-winner in overtime for the Rangers. As far as minutes ago, 9:53 was a pretty solid one. Meanwhile, Duda’s ex-rival Ike Davis tossed a scoreless inning for Oakland last night, so give it up for Ike, making Sandy look bad again!
There’s nothing better than a ten-game winning streak. Except for an eleven-game winning streak. Let’s hope the Wise One can deliver tomorrow (and not just with the bat!)
Up Next: The Mets will go for a sweep of the Braves and a perfect homestand when they take on Atlanta at 1:10 PM tomorrow. Bartolo Colon (3-0, 2.25 ERA) will face Julio Teheran (2-0, 3.71 ERA) at Citi Field.