New York- On Monday evening at Truist Park in the series opener, Francisco Lindor and the Mets took down the Braves by a final of 4-1. The 2016 LatinoMVP, Lindor totaled 3 hits on the night, extending his current hitting streak to five games. 3-Time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer was on the money with an ace-like performance when the Mets needed it most. In the midst of Atlanta creeping in on the division, New York entered Monday leading the NL East by 1.5 games.
Against an elite hitting Braves lineup in Dansby Swanson, Ronald Acuña Jr., and Austin Riley, Scherzer delivered in fashion by completing seven innings pitched and fanning nine on strikeouts. He allowed one earned run on just three hits. The 8-time All-Star finished the night with a total of 93 pitches, 67 for strikes. “I really thought I was working well with (Tomás) Nido. And really executing on my fastball, locating that fastball, up, down, in, and out. I thought that was allowing me to set up with my offspeed pitches,” said Scherzer in Monday’s postgame.
Since returning from a left oblique injury that sidelined the Mets ace for seven weeks, Scherzer has appeared back in elite form. In his last two starts, the 37-year-old has allowed two earned runs, five hits with 20 strikeouts in 13 innings pitched.
Lindor said postgame on Scherzer’s performance: “Outstanding job by Max. He did a hell of a job. He executed pitch after pitch. Him and Nido were on the same page.” He added, “Good job to our defense and hitters. Overall, we played a great baseball game and that’s what it’s all about.”
In the 4-1 win over Atlanta, the Mets offense was driven by Lindor and Pete Alonso. Alonso totaled two RBI on the night with a double to left-field in the top of the 3rd and by reaching on a fielder’s choice in the final inning. He leads MLB with 72 RBI on the season; second in the category is Rockies C.J. Cron (67).
Each series between Braves and Mets marks total chaos in the standings from here on out. In addition to a 14-game winning streak last month, the Braves have won 29 of their last 38 games. At the same time, the Mets finished June with a 13-12 record, shortening their division lead by a wide margin. “We just got to focus on playing the game the right way, and try to come out on top every single night,” said Lindor during Monday’s postgame.
Division wins make a substantial impact on playoff implications throughout the course of a 162-game regular season. “We’re in the second half here. You want to play good baseball, especially at this time of the year… They’re (Braves) a great team over there. You want to come out there, and play your best baseball. If you can clock wins against them, that’s kind of a measurement stick win. It’s a good feeling,” Scherzer said.
Familiar faces in Atlanta? Robinson Canó made his Braves debut on Monday night against the Mets. Canó was acquired in a trade from the San Diego Padres that occurred over this past weekend. The two-time LatinoMVP (2010, 2011) from San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic recorded two hits in Monday’s loss. Canó played for the Mets from 2019-2021 and began this season with New York until being released in mid-May. The 39-year-old provides tremendous defense along with versatility in Atlantas lineup being an additional left-handed bat.
The postseason intensity between Atlanta and New York appears as stadiums continue to pack in for the thrilling atmosphere. 42,925 were in attendance at Truist Park on Monday night. Pitching duels including Max Fried vs. Scherzer along with All-Star talents in Edwin Díaz and Acuña Jr. battling makes for Mets vs. Braves to be a series you mark on the calendars for must-see.
The series resumes tonight at Truist Park with first pitch set for 7:20pm. David Peterson (5-1, 3.48 ERA) will take the mound for New York. Braves rookie sensation Spencer Strider (4-2, 2.60 ERA) prepares to make his 9th start of the season. In Strider’s last outing against the St. Louis Cardinals, the 23-year-old right hander began the first three innings by firing nine consecutive strikeouts.
Robert Rizzo writes for Latino Sports and NY Sports Day
Follow on Twitter: @RobertRiz994
Watch Sports with Rich live on Tuesday Nights at 10pm EST on The SLG Network/Youtube with host Rich Mancuso.
Available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify under The SLG Network.
/ 7 hours ago
Los Angeles. And so the beat goes on here in LA where the 109-48...
/ 23 hours ago
Coral Gables, Florida (VIP-WIRE) “I don’t mind making a fool of myself in nine...