Behind Charlie Morton’s terrific start, the Braves defeated the Mets, 5-0.

Atlanta (72-46) has won the first two games of a crucial four-game series with first-place New York at Truist Park, and trails the Mets by 3 1/2 games.

ExploreBraves sign Michael Harris to long-term extension

Here are five observations on the Braves, who have won eight in a row:

1. A month and a few days ago, Charlie Morton struggled against the Mets, serving up three home runs and giving up five earned runs as Atlanta lost the series. On that day, the Mets were clearly superior, working Morton and taking advantage of his mistakes.

That takes us to Tuesday, when, everything considered, Morton registered what is probably his best start of the season.

“Holy cow, that was vintage Charlie right there I thought,” manager Brian Snitker said.

Against the Mets. In the middle of a race for the division title. With extra importance because the Mets’ two best starters loom in the final two games.

With high stakes in August, Morton shut out the Mets over 6 2/3 innings. He allowed only three hits. He struck out 12 batters. He finished with 97 pitches. The three hits were all singles – and one of those was an infield hit to begin the game.

“It’s like he’s ageless,” Matt Olson said. “The stuff has been the same since I faced him when I was a rookie. It’s really impressive.”

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

2. Morton threw his curveball 49% of the time in this start.

The Mets took 24 swings on the pitch, and whiffed on 11. The pitch was nasty.

The Mets have Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer. But if Morton can pitch like this, the Braves can even the playing field in terms of starting rotations.

“These guys put us in a position to win every time they go out,” Olson said of the team’s starting pitchers. “We know they got a good rotation over there too, but we also have a good one. A lot of innings in our rotation.”

3. When the ball jumped off the bat, the outfielders stayed still. They did not move. They already knew.

That’s the kind of home run Olson launched – or pulverized, or crushed, or demolished – in the bottom of the fourth inning. The two-run homer, which traveled an estimated 443 feet, went to the roof of the Chop House.

“Yeah, that was a good one,” Olson said. “Getting it up in the air, pull-side, hitting it well, it was a good one.”

In the seventh inning, Olson’s run-scoring single gave the Braves a five-run lead.

Olson, who grew up in the Atlanta area, was a Braves fan as a kid. He watched the Braves-Mets rivalry throughout his childhood, and is now impacting it.

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

4. The Braves lost four of five in New York to begin their last road trip. It did not sit well with them.

They have won eight straight since then. And in this series’ first two games, the Braves have outscored the Mets, 18-1.

The Braves are known for bouncing back, and have done it again.

“That core group in there has been doing that since I got here,” Morton said. “I think the beginning of last year was tough, but even when we had rough stretches, the guys in there played like that and they bounced back.”

Morton recalled a certain stretch of games in 2021 – he didn’t remember exactly which one – when the Braves won one, lost one, won one, lost one and so on. They were fighting for momentum. It told Morton a lot about the club.

“It wasn’t good, but it was good because you could see that the guys were a group of guys with some grit,” Morton said. “And the entire season was a grind, and it was like that the entire season. It was like, can’t get above .500 but we’re not slipping, we’re not going on a 10-game losing streak.”

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5. After their win, the Braves announced massive news: They signed outfielder Michael Harris to an eight-year, $72 million extension. It keeps the Atlanta-area kid home through at least 2030.

It includes a $15 million club option for 2031 with a $5 million buyout, and then a $20 million club option for 2032 with a $5 million buyout.

Harris will make $5 million per year for 2023-24, $8 million per year for 2025-26, $9 million in 2027, $10 million per year in 2028-29 and $12 million in 2030. The deal will be worth $102 million over 10 years if the Braves exercise both options.

Braves 5, Mets 0

Stat to know

0 - The three relievers who followed Morton combined to hold the Mets without a hit for the rest of the game.

Quotable

“I think it speaks to the character of the room and the quality of the guys that are in there, and that have been there.” - Morton on the Braves responding after a tough series in New York

Up next

The Braves will send Jake Odorizzi to the mound on Wednesday, when they face Scherzer and the Mets at 7:20 p.m.