By: Justin Gray
The Atlanta Braves and New York Mets rivalry has been a little lopsided in terms of success. Over the years, the Braves have been the most successful franchise of the two, while the Mets haven’t even been the best in their city. The Braves have the most division titles in MLB history and the National League East essentially runs through them.
This year, the Mets have led the NL East for 175 days and they felt like this was the year the tides would turn, in fact they had an analyst on SNY declare the NL East race over in June.
The Braves, in June, were 10.5 games back of the Mets and for the last four months have been relentlessly winning to catch up and the golden opportunity came with just six games left and the Braves being back one game. It was time for the Mets to come to Atlanta to wrap up the season series and the Braves needed a big time sweep.
The pitching matchups were some of the best you’ll see as game one saw Mets ace Jacob deGrom vs Braves ace Max Fried. This one was a pitchers’ duel early, but the Mets got the scoring going in the second inning as Mets utility player Luis Guillorme singled to left for an RBI. The Braves responded in a big way as Austin Riley and Matt Olson hit back-to-back home runs to take the lead. The pitchers continued to duel until Max Fried left the game after the fifth inning because of an illness. In the bottom of the sixth, Dansby Swanson added a solo home run to the score making it 3-1, but the Braves weren’t done, in the seventh they added two more to make it 5-1.
Mets Catcher Tomas Nido hit a solo shot to cut the Braves lead to 5-2. In the ninth, Braves closer Kenley Jansen got into a mess, but pitched his way out of it for the 5-2 win and the Braves and Mets were all tied up with two more games left in the series.
Game two featured Braves starter and MLB win total leader Kyle Wright against future Hall of Famer Max Scherzer. Like the night before, the Mets got the scoring going first with one run in the first inning. The score stayed 1-0 Mets until the fourth when Olson singled to knock in Austin Riley. The Mets retook the lead on a Jeff McNeil single to make it 2-1. The back and forth continued until the bottom of the fifth, when the Braves took the lead for good on a Dansby Swanson two run home run. Matt Olson added another on a solo home run an inning later and the Braves finished the 4-2 win with outstanding pitching once again. The Braves were now up one game in the series with one left to play against the Mets.
Game three, for all the marbles, Braves veteran Charlie Morton took the mound against Mets pitcher Chris Bassitt. This game early looked to be all Mets as they took a 3-1 lead in the third inning. In the bottom of the third, the Braves got a rally going and took the lead after a run was walked in and a Travis D’Arnaud two-run single. The Braves added one more on another Matt Olson home run and once again the bullpen was locked down and the Braves won 5-3.
The Braves swept the Mets and are up two games with three more games left. If you do the math all the Braves need is one more win to win the NL East for a fifth straight year. The Braves are building a juggernaut in Atlanta and it's a blast to watch.