Showalter-less Mets face familiar struggle against the Braves
Players react to the team cutting Robinson Canó and Buck Showalter gets suspended. Plus, the Mets need to exorcize some demons.
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾️
The Mets dropped the opening game of their 4-game series vs the Braves, 5-2 (box)
Prior to the game, manager Buck Showalter was suspended for one game in response to the team throwing at Kyle Schwarber in the 9th inning on Sunday night
RHP Yoan López was suspended for three games due to the incident
RHP Chris Bassitt had his longest start of the season, going 7 IP while allowing six hits, three runs and a walk with eight strikeouts, but was charged with the loss
Braves C Travis d’Arnaud continues to torment his former team, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI on Monday night
RHP Trevor May struggled again, allowing two runs and raising his ERA to 8.64 on the season
Following the game, May admitted that he is not fully healthy (video) — he will soon be undergoing another MRI on his right arm
SS Francisco Lindor is hitting .235/.273/.314 with one home run, 13 strikeouts and a .587 OPS over his last 12 games
JD Davis reacted to the club DFA’ing Robinson Canó, saying it “definitely takes a little bit of wind out of our sails” (SNY)
Roster Moves 📰
The Mets optioned RHP Yoan López to Triple-A Syracuse and designated 2B/DH Robinson Canó for assignment to shrink their roster to 26
2B Jeff McNeil went 1-for-3 with a walk and is now batting .483/.516/.724 with five doubles, a triple, seven runs scored and a 1.240 OPS over his last eight games
Following Monday’s start, RHP Chris Bassitt now has a 3.25 ERA since 2019, ranking 9th among all major league starters in that timespan
LF Mark Canha hit his first home run of the season, and now has an .857 OPS on the season (second-highest on the team)
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (16-8) vs. Braves (11-13)
Where: Citi Field — Flushing, NY
Starters: LHP David Peterson (0-0, 0.64 ERA) vs. RHP Charlie Morton (1-2, 7.00 ERA)
When: 3:10 PM EDT
Starters: RHP Carlos Carrasco (1-1, 4.09 ERA) vs. RHP Kyle Wright (3-0, 1.13 ERA)
When: 7:10 PM EDT
It’s time for the Mets to exorcize their Atlanta demons, and fast 📝
When you think about most Mets-Braves series over the last few years (or, mostly forever), what comes to mind?
Max Fried dominating? Check.
An Austin Riley home run? Check.
Travis d’Arnaud’s continued onslaught against his former team? Double-check.
And, of course, quite a few losses.
And while the Mets have had a stellar start to this early season and I, myself, have been the captain of the “this team is special” parade, Monday night’s game was an all-too-familiar feeling that may or may not have triggered some PTSD for this fanbase.
Despite New York flying high, winners of all seven of their series to start the year and with the largest division lead in all of baseball, and the Braves struggling with a sub-500 record, it was Atlanta that made every play, got every big hit, got every break, threw every big pitch and ultimately won the game, bringing back a creeping and habitual feeling of dread.
Look no further than last July, when a mediocre Braves club limped into Citi Field for a five-game series, staring up at a six-game deficit (the same number of games they trailed the Mets by entering last night’s game, by the way) in the National League East. Had New York done what they were supposed to do and win three, if not four games in that series, Atlanta very likely would not have been buyers at the trade deadline, therefore not making an unlikely run to a World Series championship.
Instead, it was the Mets that faltered, thus beginning their summer freefall and jumpstarting Atlanta’s first title run in 25 years.
Is this feeling an overreaction? Is it a tad bit dramatic? Is it only the first of many games the teams will play against each other this season?
Yes, yes, and yes.
Any fan feeling this way would likely admit to the fact that it is an irrational thought, but sometimes that Mets PTSD is just too strong to logic away.
And ultimately, despite how the standings look today, the Mets will have to figure out a way to fare better against the Braves if they want to arm wrestle this division away from them. Atlanta is currently the four-time defending NL East champions, and the Mets have cobbled together a paltry 26-42 record against them since the start of the 2018 season. New York has not won a single season series against the Braves in over five years.
If the Mets want to get to where they think they can go this season, this is the team they have to get through first. Atlanta is standing directly in their way, and they will not go down quietly. It is on the shoulders of this Mets club to finally find a way to stand up to them by executing better and limiting mental mistakes that prevent runs from scoring or lead to runs scoring against them, fight back and ultimately take them down.
Until they do, that PTSD may continue to linger…
Down on the Farm 🌾
Francisco Álvarez (C, No. 1 prospect, Double-A): .241/.338/.552, four home runs, six doubles, 13 RBI, 11 runs scored, .890 OPS
Brett Baty (3B, No. 2 prospect, Double-A): .279/.355/.441, one home run, eight doubles, 12 runs scored and .797 OPS
Alex Ramirez: (OF, No. 6 prospect, Single-A): .329/.378/.500, one home run, six doubles, two triples, 10 RBI, 10 runs scored, one stolen base, .878 OPS
Box Scores: All four Mets minor league affiliates were off on Monday
Around the League 🚩
The Yankees won their 10th consecutive game, defeating the Blue Jays 3-2 in Toronto
Angels RHP/DH Shohei Ohtani will have his next start pushed back due to groin tightness
Twins 1B Miguel Sanó was placed on the 10-day injured list due to a left knee sprain and could need surgery (Pioneer Press)
The Padres signed RHP Yusmeiro Petit to a minor league contract (Rosenthal)
The D-backs defeated the Marlins by a score of 5-4, resulting in Miami’s second straight loss