The Mets barely hung on to salvage a game against the Braves, win 7-6
Kodai Senga was solid again on the mound for the Mets, the bullpen slipped but didn't fall, and the need to play catch-up with the Braves
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾️
The Mets exploded for six runs in the fifth inning which helped lead to their 7-6 win over the Braves (Box)
Kodai Senga was solid once again giving up three runs in six innings while striking out seven
Rafael Ortega went 3-for-4 at the plate and delivered the big hit with the bases loaded. He is a career hitter of .529 with the bases loaded
Jeff McNeil went 3-for-5 and drove in the Mets’ first run. His hitting streak is now up to seven games and he extended his on-base streak to fifteen games
McNeil has been beating up on NL East teams lately. He is hitting .370 against Atlanta dating back to the 2022 season and he is hitting .349 against the division in that same timeframe
Adam Ottavino picked up his seventh save by shutting the door in the ninth inning
Kodai Senga… 👻
earned his ninth win of the season, tied with J.P. France and Tanner Bibee for the most in the majors among rookies
now has eleven games with seven or more strikeouts which ties him with Jacob deGrom for fourth in franchise history among Mets rookies
His ninth win ties him for third among rookie pitchers and is the most wins by a Mets rookie since Steven Matz won nine in 2016
Is one strikeout shy of becoming the seventh rookie in franchise history to record 150 or more strikeouts in a season
Injury Updates 🏥
Elieser Hernández (right pec strain) was transferred to the 60-day IL
Edwin Díaz (knee surgery) has been throwing from the front of the mound and could progress to the slope of the mound soon. He has already been throwing from 150 feet as well
Roster Moves 🗞️
Edwin Uceta (recovery from left knee surgery) was reinstated from the IL and optioned to Triple-A
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (53-65) vs. Pirates (53-65)
Where: Citi Field – Flushing, NY
Starting pitchers: RHP Carlos Carrasco (3-6, 6.42 ERA) vs. TBD
When: 7:10 PM EDT
Where to Watch: SNY
The Mets need to play catch-up… ✍️
As it stands now, the Mets are 22.5 games behind the Braves in the standings and were just outscored 40-10 in a four-game series against their rivals.
Much like the team on the field, the organization as a whole has a lot of catching up to do to the Braves.
Atlanta has a fantastic young core they’ve signed to team-friendly deals for the long term. Ronald Acuña Jr. won’t be a free agent until 2029, Ozzie Albies is signed through the 2027 season, Austin Riley signed a ten-year extension in 2022. When they did the unthinkable and let Freddie Freeman walk, they replaced him with Matt Olson, who they have signed through the 2029 season and whose production has been comparable with Freeman.
Essentially, Olson is a like-for-like replacement to Freeman production-wise. They haven’t skipped a beat since Freeman signed with the Dodgers.
The Mets have started copying this strategy and have signed a few of their stars long term. Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil, Edwin Díaz, and Francisco Lindor have all signed extensions. The team could also go this route with Francisco Álvarez, Kodai Senga, and, of course, Pete Alonso.
The Mets could let Alonso walk like the Braves did with Freeman, but good luck replacing the person with the most amount of home runs in the majors since he entered the league in 2019. There aren’t many Pete Alonso’s on the market so the team should do everything they can to keep the one they have.
With both Álvarez and Senga having standout seasons, they are also showing they can be players to build around if this organization is going to turn things around, so extending them can only benefit the team in the long run (Senga has four years left on his contract, and Álvarez is controllable through the 2029 season through the process of league minimum wage and arbitration). If it doesn’t work out, fans have already seen Steve Cohen eat a lot of money in order to make the organization better so extending a young core carries very little risk for someone with such deep pockets like Cohen.
Unfortunately, the Braves are outpacing the Mets in almost every regard both on the field and as an organization, and have been seemingly for the last 30 years. They’re better at the player development process, they’re savvy and creative in their free agent and trade acquisitions, they know when to be aggressive and know when to pull back.
For instance, they were aggressive in acquiring both Olson and Sean Murphy when the Athletics made it clear they would not be keeping their good players.
The Mets would be better served by taking advantage of teams who have sent signals they have no intention of competing, or from other teams who won’t re-sign stars when they get too expensive and make a play for them. Of course, it would help if they had the prospect currency to do that, something which the Braves always seem to have. But, they’re clearly working on that too - see their deals at the trade deadline.
We will see in time how they do at the prospect-build game, but now it’s time to adopt their own strategy and get competitively creative in the external marketplaces as well.
Around the League 🚩
Major League Baseball is investigating Rays SS Wander Franco after social media posts surfaced that involved an inappropriate relationship with a minor (Athletic)
The Yankees collapsed in the ninth inning when they gave up five runs to Miami which led to a walk-off hit by Jake Burger
Cedric Mullins saved the Orioles twice, first by robbing a home run in the ninth and then hitting a walk-off home run in the tenth
Shohei Ohtani is suffering from arm fatigue and will have his next start skipped - he will continue to serve as the Angels’ DH
The Dodgers placed reliever Joe Kelly on the injured list with right forearm inflammation