The Braves executed an eighth-inning rally, like many they assembled in years past, to tie the Mets. But with two outs in the top of the ninth, Tomas Nido put the New York back on top. The Braves didn’t have a response, losing 4-3 Tuesday at Truist Park.
Here are five takeaways from the game:
1. The team that once stole so many wins in the later innings is now routinely seeing them slip away. In many ways, these Braves have been the antithesis of the past three division winners.
The Braves are 0-8 in games tied after eight innings, the most such losses in the majors. They were 21-11 under those circumstances from 2018-20. They’re also 1-13 when trailing after eight innings.
The team is failing to perform at home, where it’s lost five straight and sits at a National-League worst 9-13. Then there’s the 10-11 record against the NL East. It’s early enough to turn that around, but it’s been a factor in the disappointing first 42 games. The Braves’ dominance of the division has been key during their recent run.
Mets 4, Braves 3 (box score)
While the bullpen is often an easy scapegoat for the team’s poor start, manager Brian Snitker referenced the offense.
“We’re not scoring enough runs,” Snitker said. “We’re relying on the homer. It’s usually solos. We’re not stringing hits together to keep innings going. I think that’s putting a lot of pressure on (the bullpen), too. I don’t just look at the bullpen. They’ve been good at times too. We’re starting to get some guys back. But offensively - we were an offensive team last year. That’s what we did what we did the last few years and had a lot of come-from-behind wins. The guys are still grinding and working to keep the line moving and bunch hits together. We’re hitting homers, but those are one run. I don’t think one (area) outweighs the other, quite honestly.”
Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@
Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@
2. Outfielder Marcell Ozuna’s broken-bat bloop hit to right field scored the game-tying run in the eighth. The Braves then opted to use lefty Will Smith for the ninth. He recorded two outs before Nido cleared the fence with a go-ahead solo shot. The Braves’ offense went quietly, with Pablo Sandoval flying out to end the game.
“One bad pitch but it’s the big leagues, so they’ll make you pay for it here,” Smith said. “That’s exactly what he did.”
3. Tucker Davidson was solid in his second MLB start. He allowed three runs on five hits across six innings, striking out five and walking one. He threw 72 pitches (53 strikes). Davidson made one true mistake pitch, which Jonathan Villar hit over the fence for a 2-0 lead in the third.
In his final inning, Davidson did a nice job limiting damage. Francisco Lindor doubled and Dominic Smith singled to start the frame. Pete Alonso’s sacrifice fly scored Lindor, but Davidson induced a double play from Nido to finish his performance on a high note.
“I just wanted to continue what I’d been doing in (Triple-A) Gwinnett and give the team an opportunity to win the ballgame today,” Davidson said. The southpaw was initially promoted to help the bullpen, but following Huascar Ynoa’s injury, the Braves plugged him into their rotation for a spot start. Not a bad audition for a bigger role.
4. Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman hit his 12th homer in the sixth, a mammoth shot to center. He tied teammate Ronald Acuna for the National League lead.
5. Braves third baseman Austin Riley also homered. It was his fifth and second in as many days. Riley entered Tuesday hitting .349/.467/.535 over his last 26 games.
Stat to know
0-8 (The Braves are 0-8 when tied after eight innings. The Red Sox (0-3) are the only other team that hasn’t won in such a situation.)
“We could show up tomorrow, pitch a shutout and score 10 runs. Everybody knows our lineup is capable of that. Our pitching staff is capable of keeping runs off the board. It’s just a matter of getting on that roll. We haven’t got on a roll yet.” - Smith
The Braves and Mets finish their series Wednesday night. Charlie Morton (2-2, 5.08) will start against David Peterson (1-3, 4.86).