Kyle Wright struggles in Braves’ loss to Mets

Braves starting pitcher Kyle Wright (30) throws against the New York Mets during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, June 23, 2021, in New York.
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Braves starting pitcher Kyle Wright (30) throws against the New York Mets during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, June 23, 2021, in New York.

Credit: AP Photo/Noah K. Murray

The Braves left Queens Wednesday with the same five-game divisional deficit with which they arrived. They lost to the Mets 7-3 in the finale of a four-game series, and their 2-2 series split meant they didn’t make up ground against the first-place team in the National League East.

Here are five takeaways from Wednesday’s loss:

1. Kyle Wright, recalled to start for the injured Max Fried, pitched only two innings. He was erratic and unable to consistently find the strike zone. He allowed five runs on four hits and walked three. Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor capped his team’s three-run second with a two-run homer. Wright threw 55 pitches (29 strikes).

“(I was) poor,” Wright said. “I never had anything going from the get-go. The only pitch I had OK was my curveball, and even then I tried to do a little too much with it. Fastball command was bad. ... It wasn’t very good. When I first went out there I felt pretty good, but I tried to do too much. I couldn’t get out of my own way.”

Mets 7, Braves 3 (box score)

Manager Brian Snitker, assessing Wright’s outing, said: “Command, stuff was flat. He just couldn’t get on track and get anything going. ... You see the stuff and all, he just hasn’t been able to put it together.”

2. Wright has made two starts this season, his other coming April 16 against the Cubs in Chicago. He’s pitched only 6-1/3 innings, allowing seven runs (two homers) with six strikeouts and five walks. There have been positives in Wright’s young career - he’s only appeared in 21 major-league games - but he just hasn’t achieved the consistency that keeps players at the major-league level.

“Mentally, I have to get back on the attack and be the aggressor,” Wright said. “Sometimes I just try to do too much and I get away from the aggressive mentality of attacking the strike zone and seeing what happens.”

3. Mets starter Tylor Megill made his major-league debut, allowing two runs over 4-1/3 innings. Braves outfielder Ender Inciarte smacked a two-run homer off Megill in the fifth to put the Braves on the board. It was Inciarte’s first homer since June 13 and second of the season. The Braves were working shorthanded with outfielders Ronald Acuna (back stiffness) and Guillermo Heredia (wrist) unavailable to hit (Heredia could’ve run or been a defensive substitute).

4. First baseman Freddie Freeman went 4-for-4 with a walk to snap an 0-for-12 skid. Each hit was a single. It was Freeman’s first multi-hit game since June 18, his third of three consecutive such performances during last week’s homestand.

5. Following Tuesday’s game, starter Charlie Morton and shortstop Dansby Swanson said they felt the Braves were trending in the right direction after taking three of four from the Cardinals at home and then winning two of the first three from the Mets entering Wednesday.

But with the Mets’ latest win, the Braves dropped to five games back in the division. Still, they’ve gained 2-1/2 games since exactly one week ago, when they were a season-worst 7-1/2 games back. While splitting four games in New York isn’t the worst result, it was a missed opportunity to trim further into the Mets’ lead.

The Braves and Mets will play a three-game series at Truist Park next week, which will be their final meeting before the All-Star break.

Stat to know

3-5 (The Braves are 3-5 against the Mets this season.)

Quotable

“You just hope someday it clicks and he figures it out.” - Snitker on Wright

Up next

The Braves open a four-game series Thursday in Cincinnati against the Reds. Snitker didn’t name a starter but said the team will use a bullpen game.