Ozzie Albies' grand slam off Paul Sewald capped a five-run sixth for the Braves, who sent the Mets to their ninth loss in 10 games, 8-2, on Tuesday night at SunTrust Park.
Things you should know about tonight's game...
1) Zack Wheeler allowed a game-tying homer to Freddie Freeman on the first pitch of the bottom of the sixth and a two-out, RBI single to Ender Inciarte. The right-hander walked consecutive batters and gave the ball to Sewald, who surrendered Albies' grand slam that broke the game open. New York would have been out of the inning trailing, 3-2, but Asdrubal Cabrera could not hold on to Devin Mesoraco's throw to second on Inciarte's stolen base.
2) The Mets took a 2-1 lead in the sixth on Jay Bruce's bases-loaded ground-rule double. It was the first time New York had driven in a run on something other than a home run or sacrifice fly since the eighth inning on June 1. The Mets had an opportunity for more with runners on second and third and one out, but Cabrera was tagged out at third on a heads-up play by Johan Camargo, who completed the double play on Mesoraco's grounder by easily getting him at first.
3) Wheeler (2-5) allowed one run on four hits and two walks through five frames before tiring in the sixth. He was ultimately charged with six runs on eight hits and four walks with two strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings. All the hits Wheeler allowed came in two innings -- the fourth and the seventh.
4) The Mets managed three hits and were held to two or fewer runs for the eighth time in 10 games and for the 26th time this year. Mesoraco's single with one out in the fifth was New York's first hit. Making his first Major League start since last September, Dominic Smith followed with another single.
5) Brandon Nimmo was hit by a pitch in the sixth but was called back by home plate umpire Stu Scheurwater, who said he made no attempt to get out of the way. The call resulted in the first ejection of Mickey Callaway's career. Nimmo walked on the next pitch.
Michael Avallone, SNY.tv | Twitter |
The Mets' issues since their 11-1 start were all highlighted in the span of one inning Tuesday night. After Jay Bruce came through with a bases-loaded double, New York was primed to, at minimum, tack on an insurance run. But a combination of a fine play by Johan Camargo at third and a slow reaction from Asdrubal Cabrera morphed into an inning-ending double play. Instead of taking a two or possibly three-run lead into the bottom of the frame, the Mets settled for a 2-1 edge.
From there the wheels came off thanks to a combination of bad luck, poor pitch selection, sloppy play and continued struggles from the bullpen. Truth be told, the Mets should have been out of the inning down one run, but a dropped throw by Cabrera at second prolonged the frame and the Braves took care of the rest. Good teams don't make mistakes at key moments of games ... bad ones do. At this juncture, it's safe to say the Mets are a bad team.
It's a shame because Wheeler pitched quite effectively. He extricated himself nicely from the bases-loaded, no-out jam in the fourth when he allowed one run. Of the eight hits he allowed, half were seeing-eye singles or bloops. Truth be told, he should have been lifted after his first of back-to-back walks in the sixth. It was clear he was out of gas at that point and New York was already trailing. Trying to nurse him through one more batter with nothing at stake for Wheeler other than completing six innings was foolish, at best. Instead, Paul Sewald entered and allowed the game to get completely out of hand.
It's the same script that's been written for the better part of three weeks. Solid start, no offense and a kerosene soaked bullpen holding about 10 matchbooks. And so, it goes...
News and notes...
The Mets are 1-8 in June and have three wins in their last 17 games. They have scored 14 runs and are batting .143 (42-for-293) as a team this month, including 2-for-37 (.054) with runners in scoring position. New York has scored 10 runs in its last 78 innings.
Wheeler carried a 2.52 ERA in his previous four starts into Tuesday's outing, including seven scoreless frames last Wednesday against the Orioles. He is winless in his last nine starts dating to April 29.
Sewald has surrendered 17 earned runs on 27 hits and six homers in 23 innings (6.65 ERA) since May 1. New York's bullpen has a 6.68 ERA in its last 17 games.
Michael Conforto is hitless in his last 21 at-bats after going 0-for-3 with a hit by pitch.
Bruce drove in a run for the first time since May 27. He has three RBIs in his last 35 games going back to May 1.
The Mets officially added Ty Kelly and Smith from Triple-A Las Vegas prior to the game.
The Mets (28-35) wrap up their series with the Braves (38-28) on Wednesday afternoon at SunTrust Park at 12:00 p.m. on SNY.
Jacob deGrom (4-1, 1.57 ERA/2.08 FIP, 106 K, 1.008 WHIP) looks to rebound from his first loss of the year on Friday against the Yankees. It marked the first time he surrendered more than one run in a start since April 13, a span of eight outings. DeGrom has surrendered two runs over 18 innings (three starts) against the Braves this season -- all no-decisions. He is 5-3 with 1.84 ERA and 1.057 WHIP in 14 career matchups with Atlanta.
Mike Soroka (1-1, 3.68 ERA/2.76 FIP, 15 Ks, 1.705 WHIP) returns from a stint on the disabled list due to a strained muscle near his right shoulder. It will be his first start since he surrendered five runs -- one earned -- in 4 2/3 innings against the Giants on May 12. Soroka limited the Mets to one run over six frames in his Major League debut on May 1 at Citi Field.