Freddie Freeman wasn’t even in the starting lineup today, yet accumulated five RBI’s-including a three-run bomb in the ninth off Jeurys Familia-to blast his way to a 6-3 Braves victory.
The Mets’ evening, once again, began promising following a Daniel Murphy homer and a Ruben Tejada RBI single. Bartolo Colon was perfect into the fifth inning, only allowing an infield single to rookie Jace Peterson. He departed with the bases loaded in the seventh inning, when Freddie Freeman hit a pinch-hit 2-RBI double off reliever Addison Reed, giving the Braves the lead. David Wright evened things up in the bottom half with an RBI single, but Freeman stepped in again in the ninth and did what he does best.
There are few positive things to take away from tonight’s loss. First off, Yoenis Cespedes showed hustle for the first time in a Mets uniform, legging out a triple when I thought he had no chance. After not running out a dropped third strike last night, video showed him busting it out of the box tonight. I like that. Second, Travis d’Arnaud and Ruben Tejada both had multi-hit games, the latter of whom’s average snuck up to a modest .270. I like the competition between Tejada and Flores, who are seemingly always trying to out-do each other. Despite Flores’ woes, both seem to finally be emerging as major league shortstops. Colon was stellar up until the seventh inning tonight, being as efficient as ever. With the struggling young pitching, Bartolo could be a very important fixture in the Mets rotation assuming they make the postseason, which is surprising, due to the idea that some wanted to leave him off the playoff roster in it’s entirety. Lastly, we witnessed ’06-esque David Wright tonight coming in clutch, which will be necessary for the Mets success further into October.
With a Washington loss on the horizon tonight, the Mets magic number could very well soon be down to five.
Steven Matz (4-0, 1.80) and the Mets will travel to Great American Ballpark tomorrow to face Josh Smith (0-2, 7.71) and the Reds at 7:10pm. Matz will vouch, like so many others, for a playoff spot, whether it be in the rotation or bullpen. The Mets look to clinch in Cincinnati over the weekend and take advantage of the Reds’ weak pitching. With some rare help from Philadelphia this weekend, the Nationals playoff chances could soon be crushed.