After a pair of low-scoring, hard-fought contests, the Braves didn’t gain ground on the Mets in the National League East during Monday’s doubleheader at Citi Field. The Braves won Game 1, 2-0, but lost the second game 1-0. Both contests were seven innings.

Here are five takeaways from Monday:

1. A stat that’s believable for the 2021 Braves: They held the Mets to one run across the two games yet didn’t win both. Jeff McNeil’s two-out double off Luke Jackson in Game 2 produced New York’s only offense, and it was enough.

It was a missed opportunity for the Braves. This is the biggest series of their season thus far, and two games passed by without a change in their standing.

“You’re always disappointed when you can’t get the second one,” shortstop Dansby Swanson said. “But to keep things in perspective, I thought they threw the ball well in the second game. We didn’t have too many chances, and when we did, we weren’t able to capitalize. They had a big two-out hit and that was the difference in the game. I thought our guys threw great, too. ... We played well, we just didn’t take advantage of the opportunity.”

2. Kyle Muller produced the most important start of his young career, outpitching Marcus Stroman and holding the Mets scoreless for five innings in Game 1. He allowed four hits, walking two and striking out three.

Most importantly, Muller again demonstrated his ability to pitch around traffic. In the third, he struck out Pete Alonso and Michael Conforto – on 10 pitches – to end a two-out threat. In his final inning, Muller induced a double play from Alonso to escape another two-on threat. His outing concluded at 75 pitches.

“I thought he did a great job,” manager Brian Snitker said. “The thing I’ve noticed about him, he has a lot of confidence. I don’t feel he gets caught up in the moment. He keeps breathing and trusts his stuff. The other day (against San Diego), it was scattergun a little bit. Today, he got back to the way he looked the first time he started here (against Jacob deGrom in his first start).”

3. It was a huge start for Muller, who’s now over a month into his big-league career. He didn’t feel any additional pressure or urgency.

““I wasn’t necessarily worried about (the bigger picture) because I can’t control any of that,” Muller said. “I was more focused on executing pitches and giving the team a chance to win. I’m not trying to throw 15 pitches to the backstop and throw 87 pitches in four innings (as he did against the Padres). I was trying to get deep into the game and give us a chance to win, and that’s exactly what happened.”

4. Bryse Wilson struggled in his outing last week against the Padres (which was suspended due to rain). He was better Monday, holding the Mets scoreless over three innings.

“Obviously we’re chasing the Mets, so I just wanted to come out and give my team the best chance to win, pull us even closer to the goal we’re trying to achieve,” Wilson said. “I only went three innings but I felt like I kept the team in the game. It was a good game, hard fought.”

Wilson left with runners at the corners and none out in the fourth. Jesse Chavez struck out Jonathan Villar and got McCann to ground into a double play.

5. The Braves ended the day five games behind the Mets, just as they were when Monday started. The split was a win for New York, which sheds two games off the schedule without losing ground.

Three more contests remain in the series – and before Friday’s trade deadline. The Braves are 6-7 against the Mets. The good news: They have three more days of opportunity in front of them.

Stat to know

49-51 (The Braves are 49-51 through 100 games.)


“We’re good (pitching-wise for the rest of the week). That was two good ballgames. We’re in good shape with our bullpen tomorrow. Just couldn’t get a big hit (in Game 2). But we’re OK.” – Snitker

Up next

The series continues Tuesday when Charlie Morton (9-3, 3.65) will try to help the Braves gain ground.