The New York Mets went on a monster run to get into the wildcard hunt in the National League and now they cannot afford to relax. They dug a big enough hole for themselves that a 16-1 run isn’t going to cut it. While it was an impressive job by the Mets, they’re not even in the Wild Card Game if that was today. They wouldn’t even be the first team out.
The Mets would finish the season 2 games back of the postseason, while the Nationals and Cardinals decide who moves on to the next round. Since going 16-1, the Mets have lost their last two games. They failed to finish off the Nationals with a sweep and then had difficulties against the Braves on Tuesday night.
Max Fried put together a stellar performance, as he outpitched Zack Wheeler for the win. The Mets had to be the most bet underdog on the card last night. Everyone has been falling in love with them, but future success is not guaranteed because of that tremendous effort. That said, the National League wildcard race is wide open and the Mets have the best rotation out of the teams vying for a spot.
The Braves don’t have to mess around with wildcards and have the inside track to securing the top spot in the NL East. They are holding onto a 6-game lead in the and don’t appear to be letting go of it, but a lot can change in a hurry. The Nationals are still alive and have a puncher’s chance at erasing six games.
The Braves’ bullpen have had issues, so their relievers crumbling down the stretch is what the Nationals need. Dallas Keuchel hopes to get a lot of innings in before having to go to the bullpen tonight. Keuchel gets the nod against Steven Matz of the Mets on Wednesday evening at SunTrust Park.
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The Braves have responded nicely after blowing a 4-run lead in the 9th against the Marlins on Saturday. In what was their most painful loss of the season, the bullpen completely collapsed and allowed a 6-2 lead turn into a 7-6 loss. Good teams know how to bounce back from brutal losses, though, and the Braves figured it out and have won both games since by a score of 5-4 and 5-3.
They got solid starts from Foltynewicz and Fried in back-to-back outings. Foltynewicz getting back into form for the final stretch of the regular season and playoffs would be huge for the Braves. He’s been off the mark from last year, but Atlanta would get a huge boost if he can flip it around. Keuchel has been spotty since signing with the Braves.
The franchise will be looking for more with games becoming more important. In any event, Keuchel has excelled at home with an ERA of 2.96 and 0.84 WHIP in 27.1 innings of work. He hasn’t allowed more than 3 runs in an outing at home thus far. He’s been adequate against this Mets roster in the past, holding them to a .254 average in 181 at-bats.
Matz hasn’t had as much success, with the Braves hitting .292 with a .366 OBP and 17 runs scored in 120 at-bats. The Mets have scored only 3 more runs in 61 more appearances at the plate against Keuchel. Matz hasn’t been at this best on the road.
He’s been terrible actually. As a visiting hurler, Matz has posted a 6.79 ERA and 1.67 WHIP in 55.2 innings of work. He’s surrendered 16 long balls compared to just 4 at Citi Field in Queens. Variance is likely to continue Wednesday for the Mets, as they fall to the Braves at SunTrust Park for a second consecutive day.