Last night at Citi Field the Mets defeated the Braves in walk-off fashion by the score of 4-3. After the Mets watched their bullpen blow a 2-0 lead in the eighth inning, they rallied back to defeat their division foe in the 11th inning on an RBI single by Ruben Tejada.
Daisuke Matsuzaka might not have been perfect on Monday night, but he certainly got the job done. Despite allowing 8 base runners, Matsuzaka managed to negotiate seven scoreless innings, making way for the bullpen with a 2-0 lead going into the eighth.
Mike Minor allowed only two hits on the night, but the Mets made the most of them. After Eric Campbell walked to lead off the second inning, Travis d’Arnaud drilled an RBI double to the gap in left center with two men away. One inning later, David Wright garnered the Mets second hit of the game when he clubbed a line drive to the left field corner that cleared the fence for his seventh home run of the season.
The lefty Minor settled in from there, retiring the last 13 batters that came to the plate. Leaving the mound after the 7th inning, he appeared destined for a hard-luck loss.
Right handed hurler Vic Black relieved Dice-K to start the 8th inning and the Braves quickly made their move. Mets killer Freddie Freeman stroked a double over the glove of the shortstop Tejada with such force that Chris Young was unable to corral the ball before it reached the wall. After a Justin Upton groundout, Freeman was standing at third base with two men out. At that point, Mets manager Terry Collins summoned lefty Josh Edgin from the bullpen to face Jason Heyward.
The wheels quickly fell off for the Mets bullpen at that point. Edgin threw a pitch over the head of Heyward and to the backstop, allowing Freeman to stroll down the third base line, cutting the lead to 2-1. Next, Edgin allowed a line drive single to center by Heyward, marking the first time all season that Edgin did not retire the first batter to face him.
Collins the called upon his closer Jenrry Mejia for the 4 out save. With a runner on first, Chris Johnson crushed a fastball to deep centerfield off the top of the fence to drive in the tying run. Had the ball landed about six inches higher, the Braves would have taken the lead.
After an intentional pass to Tommy La Stella, Christian Bethancourt lined a soft drive to right field. As Chris Johnson rounded the third base bag representing the go-ahead run, Granderson fired home in an attempt to preserve the tie. Almost inexplicably however, first baseman Eric Campbell cut off the throw and nagged La Stella trying to go from 1st to 3rd. Though the inning was over, the Braves led 3-2 entering the bottom of the eighth inning.
With no men on and two out, Mets fans rolled their eyes with the expectation of another crushing defeat at the hands of the 1st place Braves. Facing a full count, Curtis Granderson turned on a 95 MPH fastball from lefty Luis Avilan and drilled it into the old Mo’ Zone in right field for his 13th home run of the season, tying him with Lucas Duda for the club lead.
After Mejia navigated the top of the 9th with ease, the Mets came to bat with a chance for the walk off win. Sweet swinging Eric Campbell stroked a single back up the middle, setting the stage for a bizarre and controversial moment in the ball game. Juan Lagares, who has struggled in sacrifice situations this season, bunted the ball sharply back to Braves third baseman Chris Johnson. Johnson nailed the lead runner at 2B however, it appeared shortstop Andrelton Simmons had come off of the bag before receiving the ball.
Despite the neighborhood play being explicitly exempt from video review, the umpiring crew reviewed the call and ruled that Campbell was safe at second base. Understandably, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez was livid with the decision. After the game he told reporters, "That might be the worst call or interpretation I have ever seen." Though Gonzalez had a legitimate gripe, he was ejected for arguing the call after it had already been reviewed.
Though the call had gone their way, the Mets could not capitalize and failed to score in the bottom of the 9th.
After 2 stellar outings of relief from Carlos Torres (who was just two days removed from an 81 pitch outing), Juan Lagares set the Mets up for their victory with a double to the gap in left center. After an intentional walk to Lucas Duda and a sac fly by Travis d’Arnaud, Ruben Tejada delivered a clutch, game winning line drive to center field.
The Mets (40-49) will continue their series against Atlanta (49-40) when Jacob deGrom (1-5, 3.77 ERA) takes on All-Star Julio Tehran (8-5, 2.29 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:10 PM ET.