Over the offseason, the Mets, with new president of baseball operations, began another retooling of their organization. They tried to balance being competitive this season without sacrificing their future, which they hope is much brighter than their recent seasons.

They are not on the Braves’ level.

Still, this week’s series proved something: This is still baseball, and this still is a rivalry. Anything can happen.

The Braves lost to New York 16-4 on Thursday at Truist Park. The Braves (7-4) lost two of three to the Mets in a rain-shortened series. (Wednesday’s postponed game was pushed to September.)

Here are five observations from the game:

1. This should tell you how the game went: By the time the Braves collected their first hit – Matt Olson’s triple with two outs in the fourth inning – the Mets had scored seven runs on eight hits.

They hammered their former farmhand, Allan Winans. Brought up to fill Spencer Strider’s spot in the rotation (if only for a start), Winans struggled. His defense didn’t help him out (more soon), but Winans didn’t pitch well enough to earn another start.

He allowed seven runs – six earned – over five innings. The lone positive: He pitched scoreless fourth and fifth innings, which at least gave the Braves’ bullpen a bit more of a breather before having six consecutive games until the next off-day.

After a couple of defensive misplays allowed the Mets to take a 3-0 lead in the second inning, Winans gave up two run-scoring doubles and a two-run homer – to DJ Stewart – in the third.

“I mean, I think that it was one of those days where the box score doesn’t really tell you the whole story about the game,” Winans said. “Sometimes, it’s better to be lucky than good, and today I was a little bit unlucky. I tip my cap to that lineup. I think Stewart hit a ball below the zone over the fence, so, I mean, that’s part of my game – keeping the ball below the zone.”

The only pitch that Winans really wanted back: A slider he left up to Francisco Alvarez, who doubled home a run.

The score after three innings: 7-0, Mets.

Asked if by “unlucky,” he meant that the Mets hit some pitches at the edges of the zone, Winans said: “This is a hell of a defensive team, too, and I think that a lot of those guys would tell you that they would probably make those plays. It’s like, every other day of the week those plays are made. So, again, you can’t really look too far into it – just kind of one of those things. But I feel like I battled pretty good and got us into the fifth inning. … Obviously the game didn’t go our way, but my job is to try to keep us in it. I didn’t do a great job of that today, but I’ll be back here soon enough. No sweat off my back, honestly.”

After the game, the Braves informed Winans that they’re sending him down to Triple-A Gwinnett.

2. In the second inning, Brandon Nimmo hit a line drive out to center field. At first, Michael Harris II stepped in, as if he thought the liner was headed to him. But Harris, who usually is flawless, misread it. He immediately ran back toward the wall and put up his glove, but the ball bounced off it.

Nimmo was given a double. A run scored.

“I saw everything fine, but I saw it knuckling and the wind kind of carried it at the end,” Harris said. “I tried to recover, but – probably should’ve still caught it, but yeah, it kind of seemed to be knuckle in, and the wind kind of caught it.”

Let’s be clear: We’re only talking about this as unusual because Harris is such a terrific center fielder. He can make any play. But it wasn’t a routine liner.

The next batter, Starling Marte, hit a routine grounder to Orlando Arcia, but the ball bounced off the shortstop’s glove and into center field as he came up on it. It was ruled an error. Nimmo scored to give New York a three-run lead.

The Braves usually are crisp in the field. These were uncharacteristic lapses. There probably isn’t much reason for concern, but it was an ugly inning.

3. The Braves scored three in the fifth inning. They trailed by only four runs.

You probably wondered: Could they do it again?

After all, the Braves overcame large deficits in two of three wins over Arizona. They’ve proved they’re never out of a game.

This was too much, though. In those victories, everything – such as the bullpen holding up – had to go well after they fell behind. This time, they never stormed back.

Left-hander Jose Quintana limited the Braves to those three runs over 5-1/3 frames. New York’s bullpen held up while the Braves’ gave up runs.

In the seventh, the Mets scored three runs on Dylan Lee, but all were unearned because of an Austin Riley error. In the eighth, Tyler Matzek permitted two runs.

“That’s why we play 162,” Harris said. “That’s still a good team on that side. We’re gonna lose games, no matter if we’re having the best game of our lives. Somehow, some way, the baseball gods will make us lose a game.”

4. Luis Guillorme got into the game against his former team – as a pitcher in the ninth inning.

Tyrone Taylor hit a grand slam off Guillorme.

5. The Braves are headed on a two-city trip to Miami and Houston. Don’t worry, Braves fans: Both ballparks feature a roof, so weather won’t be an issue.

The Braves will start Max Fried, Chris Sale and Charlie Morton – in that order – from Friday through Sunday against the Marlins.

The Braves have a nice opportunity this weekend: The Marlins are 2-11. They’ve been ravaged by injuries to their starting rotation.

Stat to know

5.43 – Through 11 games, the Braves’ starting pitchers have combined to post a 5.43 ERA, which is the sixth-worst mark in baseball.


“That’s why you play 162, right? It’s just another day for us. Things didn’t go our way today, but this is the best group ever, so I know we’ll regroup and get back to it tomorrow.” – catcher Chadwick Tromp on flushing Thursday’s outcome and preparing for Friday

Up next

At 7:10 p.m. Friday, the Braves will face left-hander Trevor Rogers at loanDepot Park.