Noah Syndergaard pitched seven innings of two-hit ball, striking out eight and allowing only one run on a Freddie Freeman single in the first inning. Multi-hit games and RBI’s from David Wright and Travis d’Arnaud got the offense going early.
Soon enough, yet another shot from Yoenis Cespedes put the Mets up 4-1 in the eighth inning, a lead that looked very sustainable given the strong back end of the bullpen.
Then, Adonis Garcia stepped in to pinch hit with two men on in the bottom of the eighth, and hit a bomb all the way to Panic City.
Come the top of the ninth, d’Arnaud hit a ground-rule double to get things started. Kelly Johnson, a former Brave, promptly lined one into right field, scoring d’Arnaud’s pinch runner, Eric Young Jr., another former Brave. Add on an RBI by Cespedes and normalcy was restored, as Jeurys Familia put his 40th save in the books.
The Nationals lost 2-0 to Miami to extent the Mets’ NL East lead to 9.5 games, all but killing Washington’s chances of catching the Mets. With the Pirates and Cubs holding firm leads in the Wild Card, it seems that the Nats can kiss their playoff chances goodbye altogether. However, as Mets fans, I think we’ve learned not to take a lead for granted-no matter how large.
Jon Niese (8-10, 4.36 ERA) will be taking the hill against rookie Ryan Weber (0-1, 3.00 ERA) tomorrow afternoon at 1:35pm, meaning all four games in this series will be started by rookies for the Braves. Weber made his Major League debut on Tuesday against the Phillies, taking the loss after giving up two earned runs over six innings pitched. Niese will have his work cut out for him, as Michael Bourn (.389) and Andrelton Simmons (.348) have good numbers against him in the past five years. Struggling of late, Niese will have to earn his keep for a chance to be on the playoff roster-as he has allowed five or more runs in his last four outings.