The overriding theme of this Met team is that they never quit and that is illustrated by the fact that in recent games their bats do not get their wakeup call until the late innings and we saw that again in Atlanta in the opener of the three game set with the Braves.
Charlie Morton’s curve ball controlled the Met hitters for six innings but that late inning alarm clock went on in the heads of this team once the the game hit inning #7. A single from Dom Smith followed by a Kevin Pillar walk in which both batters took patient approaches laying off the curve ball set the stage for Met catcher James McCann who crushed a three run homer to tie the game at 3.
Jose Peraza pinch hit a double down the left field line and Francisco Lindor followed that with a clutch RBI single to give the Mets the lead for good. Tylor Megill, making his second appearance gave the Mets a representative start with a 3 run homer by Ozzie Albies the only blemish on his line. Once the Mets took him off the hook and took the lead they had a fully rested bullpen ready to take the team to the finish line as Trevor May, Seth Lugo, and Edwin Diaz combined for 3 scoreless innings allowing only one hit. Edwin Diaz earned his 17th save with a 1-2-3 ninth inning including getting Ronald Acuna Jr, to fly out to Michael Conforto for the game’s final out.
The Mets have played so many close games this year-30 one run games and have won 17 of them. Of course the late inning hitting heroics are a big reason why but both the rotation and the bullpen is super talented which gives manager Luis Rojas massive flexibility and in the 9 games in which the Mets have battled the Braves many of these games have been close encounters and this bullpen which now has added Seth Lugo to the mix is a big reason the Mets have won 6 of 9 games from the two time defending NL East champions.
This team never quits and a big reason is they believe in each other and that was best illustrated by the starting pitcher on this night-Tylor Megill– who was not even considered part of rotation depth when this season started. But because of injuries coupled with a plethora of doubleheaders he is getting a chance to pitch in the show and he has the poise of a veteran on the mound. Twice he struck out Freddie Freeman on this night because he was not afraid to use secondary pitches like a slider or a changeup to compliment his mid 90’s fastball he was throwing all night long.
And the veteran Mets on this team have seen that time and time again from young players when the bright lights of the game shine in their eyes. Time after time, they have showed us all that are not afraid and certainly not over confident. They just execute their game plan and only worry about the things they can control. In Megill’s case he began the season at AA Binghamton and was promoted to AAA Syracuse where he impressed the Mets coming out of nowhere with great command of his stuff. In the sport of baseball, you need stories like that along with proven talent to earn playoff spots. And in this win over the Braves the Mets illustrated that combining the rise of Megill with big time RBI at bats from high priced free agents like Lindor and McCann. That is the stuff that translates a team into a championship-caliber group of 26 players that pull for each other, support each other, and win games.