Mets go Baty! Buck Showalter pulled out all the stops in a critical win against Atlanta
Brett Baty became the fifth Met in franchise history to hit a home run in his first at-bat
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾
The Mets fought off the Braves for a 9-7 rollercoaster win at Truist Park on Wednesday night (Box)
Brett Baty - the club’s no. 2 prospect who was called up to the big leagues on Wednesday - hit a two-run home run on the second pitch he saw in his first at-bat (Video)
The Mets plated four early runs off Braves RHP Jake Odorizzi thanks to Baty’s home run as well as solo home runs from Starling Marte and Francisco Lindor on back-to-back pitches in the first inning, scratched out two more runs thanks to an RBI double from Mark Canha in the sixth and another solo home run by Marte in the seventh, and then three huge insurance runs on a two-run single by Pete Alonso and an RBI double from Daniel Vogelbach in the ninth inning
Max Scherzer started for the Mets and gave the Mets a strong effort until the seventh inning when he lost the plate and left in a bases loaded jam
Adam Ottavino - who had allowed just three earned runs in his last 25 appearances - allowed a three-run home run to Robbie Grossman (on a fastball) to get the Braves to within a run at 6-5 in the seventh
With the game on the line and the Braves best hitters coming up in the eighth, Buck Showlater summoned Edwin Díaz, who retired the side in order with two strikeouts, and while Trevor May’s season-long adventure continued in the ninth, he was able to close out the win
Baty became the fifth player in club history to homer in his first big league at-bat
The Mets are now 36-23 on the road, 12-5 in August, 60-11 when scoring first, 27-17 in one or two run games, 67-0 when leading after eight innings, 40-17 against the National League East, 56-5 when scoring at least five runs, 12-26 when allowing at least five runs, 18-7 since the All-Star Game, and 45-15 when their starting pitcher goes at least six innings
Roster Moves 📰
INF Brett Baty selected from Triple-A Syracuse
LHP Sam Clay recalled from Triple-A Syracuse
RHP RJ Álvarez designated for assignment
INF Eduardo Escobar (left oblique strain) placed on the 10-day IL, retroactive to August 16
Injury Updates 🏥
Eduardo Escobar (left oblique strain) expects to return when eligible from the injured list
Taijuan Walker (back spasms) is unlikely to make his next scheduled start on Sunday against the Phillies, but has not been placed on the injured list yet
Drew Smith (strained lat) began a throwing program this week with hopes he can return in late August or early September
Joey Lucchesi (recovery from Tommy John Surgery) will make his first rehab appearance for Single-A St. Lucie this weekend
Tylor Megill (shoulder strain) threw live batting practice on Wednesday and remains on track to return in September
Who’s Hot 🔥
Jeff McNeil is 7-for-12 with three doubles in the first three games of this series against the Braves - he is hitting .431/.455/.708 with 11 doubles, three home runs and 11 RBI in his last 19 games.
Francisco Lindor is 4-for-12 with a home run and RBI in this series against the Braves - he is hitting .381/.459/.619 with five doubles, five home runs and 17 RBI over his last 23 games
Edwin Díaz has allowed just two hits over 6.2 IP against the Braves in 2022. He has faced 22 Atlanta hitters and struck out 14 of them while recording five of his 27 saves against them
Playoff Odds Tracker 🎲
The Mets are 76-42 and lead the Braves by 4.5 games in the National League East with 44 games to go. They are on-pace for 104 wins, which would be the second-highest mark in franchise history (108 in 1986)
The Mets have the fourth-easiest schedule down the stretch of the season (.466 opposing winning percentage, per Tankathon)
Playoff odds (FanGraphs):
Make the playoffs: 100 percent ↔️
Win the National League East: 88 percent ⬆️
Clinch a first round bye: 87.9 percent ⬆️
Win the World Series: 17.1 percent ⬆️
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (76-42) at Braves (72-47)
Where: Truist Park — Atlanta, Georgia
Starters: RHP Jacob deGrom (2-0, 1.62 ERA) vs LHP Max Fried (10-4, 2.60 ERA)
When: 7:20 PM EDT
Where to Watch: SNY
After two rough days in Atlanta, the Mets restored stability with a good story… 📝
That isn’t exactly how one might have drawn up a game started by Max Scherzer after two very bumpy days to start this critical series against the Braves. Both in good ways and in ways that probably made your stomach turn on Wednesday night.
The game started off with all of the right things happening for the Mets, highlighted by Brett Baty’s highly-anticipated big league debut.
And his debut couldn’t have gone any better.
On the second pitch he ever saw in the big leagues, Baty, 22, hit a two-run home run into the right field grand stand, becoming just the fifth player in Mets history to homer in his first at-bat.
Aside from that being a seriously awesome moment for Baty, his family and the organization as a whole (he made them look pretty good for deciding to call him up with that homer), it was a hugely impactful home run for the club as it gave the Mets a 4-0 lead and breathing room for their co-ace, Max Scherzer who was assigned the task of stopping the bleeding for the Mets and their pitching staff specifically.
Scherzer started off struggling to find the feel of his off-speed pitches over the first couple of innings, but just when he seemed to find his footing, the Atlanta rains came and it seemed like another pitching nightmare had been encountered.
After all, the Mets had gotten exactly four innings from their starting pitching in a series where each game is a two-game swing in the standings against their closest competitor in the division. So the last thing Buck Showalter and the Mets needed in a game started by Scherzer in a game they really, really, REALLY needed to win was a long rain delay.
Fortunately, the rain delay lasted about 30 minutes, Scherzer kept his blood flowing and deemed himself good to go when the game resumed. He did struggle out of the gate, allowing a walk and a run in the third but he found his footing once again and managed to retire 13 straight Braves hitters into the seventh inning.
In between, the Mets had padded their 4-1 lead with runs in the sixth and the seventh, and it seemed like this was a smooth-sailing 6-1 game for the Mets until that seventh inning. But alas, Scherzer lost the strike zone and left after 6.1 innings with the bases loaded.
Fast forward through an overturned call on a 5-4-3 double play at first (fairly) which would’ve gotten the Mets out of this jam unscathed to Robbie Grossman tagging an Adam Ottavino fastball up in the zone for a three-run home run, and what looked like a much-needed relaxing game for the Mets got way too interesting. It was now 6-5 and, well, uh-oh.
So, Buck had to summon Edwin Díaz for the eighth inning - that’s where Wednesday night’s save chance was for the Mets. Buck knew he just could not let this game get away and the Braves had the middle of the order up in the frame.
And of course, Díaz answered the call like he always seems to do with two strikeouts (Dansby Swanson and Matt Olson) and a pop-up (Austin Riley).
But as the Mets have done all year long they got themselves some much-needed insurance in the ninth inning thanks to some clutch hits from Pete Alonso and Daniel Vogelbach.
That insurance paid off in the ninth inning as Trevor May’s inconsistencies reared their ugly head. He allowed two runs and the tying run to reach base with Ronald Acuña Jr. up with two outs. But he closed the door on a badly needed win albeit under a lot of duress.
Back to Baty for a second.
He had a storybook big league debut on Wednesday, arriving at Truist Park with fanfare and buzz and the Mets in need of someone to play third base for them. Its never easy to know what might lie ahead for a big prospect under the spotlight of a pennant race in New York, and Baty has suddenly found himself in the middle of all of that after just 22 at-bats at Triple-A Syracuse. Baty showed poise and confidence on both sides of the ball for the Mets on Wednesday and seemingly energized a lineup which had been knocked on it’s heels after two very difficult nights.
His debut reminded me of Michael Conforto’s debut back in 2015, who was also a part of that renewed energy they had down the stretch. Of course, it’s apples and oranges and this lineup is way better than the one Conforto was injected into, but sometimes youth can serve as the energy a team needs to snap out of a funk and at least for one night, Baty helped served that purpose and gave the Mets a good story on a night they could use one.
Hopefully this is just the beginning for Baty.
Now, to the import of this win.
Again, it was a game the Mets simply had to have. Scherzer was pitching, the rotation had suddenly become a massive question mark thanks to injuries to Carlos Carrasco and Taijuan Walker, and the Mets needed some stability and reliability from a starting pitcher. While the final line might not suggest it, Scherzer did indeed provide such stability. He pitched into the seventh inning and he allowed the offense some air space. Perhaps his outing might’ve ended differently if the game hadn’t been disrupted by rain as well.
And of course, the Mets simply need to win when Scherzer or Jacob deGrom are pitching, especially this time of year, especially against the Braves and especially when he’s afforded a five-run lead against the Braves this time of year.
The difference between winning and losing in these divisional games is a two-game swing. Had the Mets lost, their lead would’ve been down to 2.5 games. Instead they won - the lead is now 4.5 games. It’s why Buck went to Díaz in the eighth inning - he knew that was the game, this was a must-win and was willing to gamble on the Mets padding their lead and sneaking by in the ninth inning to win this game.
That gamble paid off, even with May’s bumpy landing.
There’s also the issue with weather in Atlanta tonight. There’s some level of expectation the Mets might either get rained out or there will be a significant delay on a night when the Mets are already scheduled to arrive in Philadelphia between 2-3 AM with four games ahead of them over the coming three days. So pulling out all the stops last night and winning at whatever cost was required was paramount for Buck and the Mets.
It’s also worth mentioning that if the Mets don’t play tonight, this game would likely be rescheduled for their series in Atlanta at the end of the season, a series the Mets hope doesn’t matter in the race for the National League East.
Sure, it wasn’t pretty. In a lot of ways, it was quite aggravating. But a win is a win and the Mets found a way like all good teams do and get a big win when they needed one. They were able to keep their great story about Baty the big news of the night but most importantly, restore some stability after two very rough days in Atlanta.
Down on the Farm 🌾
Dominic Smith (1B, Triple-A): 2-for-5, HR, RBI, 2 R
William Lugo (SS, Single-A): 3-for-4, HR, 2 RBI, 1 R
Blaine McIntosh (CF, Low-A): 2-for-5, 2 BB, RBI
Around the League 🚩
With the Yankees down 7-5 in the tenth inning, Josh Donaldson hit a walk-off grand slam for a much-needed 8-7 win over the Rays
The Reds blanked the Phillies 1-0 at Great American Ballpark to salvage the final game of that three-game series
Shohei Ohtani tripled in back-to-back games for the first time in his career on Wednesday, but the Angels lost 11-7 to the Mariners - he is the only player in major league history to make at least 20 starts on the mound and hit five triples at the plate
The Rangers fired long-time executive Jon Daniels - earlier this week Texas had relieved Chris Woodward of his managerial duties
The Red Sox blasted the Pirates 8-3 to even their record at 59-59 - every team in the American League East has a .500 record or better
Tony Gonsolin improved to 15-1 thanks to seven shutout innings as the Dodgers edged the Brewers 2-1 in Milwaukee