For the second straight night in Atlanta the Met bench and bullpen supplied the ammunition as the Mets beat the Braves 4-3 in dramatic fashion with Luis Rojas carving out a bullpen night and more unlikely heroes pulled the Mets across the finish line.
Miquel Castro was given the start as the opener and provided the Mets with a scoreless inning while Tommy Hunter not only gave the team 2 scoreless innings with 4 strikeouts following Castro but chipped in with a base hit in which he scored on a Jonathan Villar 2 run homer to give the Mets a 2-0 lead. A Pete Alonso sac fly made it 3-0 but homers by Austin Riley and Freddie Freeman cut the lead to 3-2. The Braces got a broken bat RBI single in the 8th from Marcel Ozuna to knot the score at 3 but that set the stage for more Met theatrics.
Tomas Nido, starting for the second straight game behind the plate, crushed a solo homer off Will Smith to give the Mets the lead and Edwin Diaz pitched for the third straight night retiring the Braves in order to seal the game for the Mets.
It must be said there seem to be a secret sauce working in that Met clubhouse as adversity comes in bunches and this group of players seem to dust off the adversity like a piece of lint on your shirt. You can even see it in young players they put in the lineup or on the mound. Their body language exudes confidence and it shows in their performance whether it be a game wining homer, a scoreless 1-2-3 inning or a diving catch.
It must also be said we have heard so much chatter from the so called experts being so critical of the trade that brought Edwin Diaz to the Mets and the bottom line is right now he might very well be the best closer in the sport. He is perfect in save chances this year and has sealed so many wins already this season. He has a hunger to excel and is also a great teammate that constantly prepares himself to pitch every single day. I would agree the Mets traded a top prospect for him but in 2021 we are seeing why they did–because he is an elite closer you just don’t find on every street corner.
We all knew coming into the season games inside the NL East would be so important in deciding the winner of this division. The Mets are 11-5 in games inside the division and will try to sweep this series in Atlanta as David Peterson will take the hill. They really need him to go deep in this game as the bullpen has been very busy the last 2 games. And the way things are going it may be Peterson’s turn to wear the hero hat. Who knows? It could be Francisco Lindor who bat looks to me like it is ready to explode.
Teams that have championship aspirations usually have that different hero every day approach and the Mets seem to be taking that route. I can tell you that after Kevin Pillar took a pitch in the head I expected him to stay in bed a few days but he would have none of that. He came to the park and spent a quality day without his baseball family watching a dramatic win from the dugout. And don’t think for a moment that did not inspire his teammates. And it may have turned this game from a hard luck loss into a dramatic win.