ATLANTA – The Mets broke out the bats and poured it on in the series finale at Truist Park. They took advantage early and left no doubt about which divisional playoff contender would snatch the critical three-game set in their first matchup of many in the coming weeks.
Eduardo Escobar, Francisco Lindor and Mark Canha all homered off right-hander Charlie Morton in the Mets’ 7-3 win over the Braves on Wednesday afternoon. It was only the fifth time this season the Mets collected three or more home runs in a game, and the first time since June 4 at Dodger Stadium. Five of their seven runs came via the long ball.
The Mets (55-34) arrived at Battery Park as the underdogs. They were missing key batters in Jeff McNeil and Starling Marte, their relief corps was not as strong as the Braves, who own the best bullpen ERA (3.07) in the National League, and they were in jeopardy of losing their season-long hold over the NL East.
On Monday, the Amazin’s had their smallest first-place lead (1.5 games) since April 16. On Wednesday, they strutted out of Truist Park with their lead still intact, and back up to 2.5 games.
The Mets wound up flipping the script. Their rotation in this series in Max Scherzer, David Peterson and Chris Bassitt out-pitched Braves starters Max Fried, Spencer Strider and Morton. That Mets trio limited Atlanta to four runs in 18.1 innings. The Amazin’s offense, sticking to their game plan of grinding out at-bats in a successful effort to chase the opposing starters early, did not allow Fried, Strider or Morton to record a single out beyond the fifth inning.
Scherzer’s powerful start in the series opener Monday was a statement, and Bassitt’s solid outing in the series finale was the exclamation point.
Bassitt picked up his seventh win of the year after holding Atlanta’s lethal lineup to one run on five hits across six innings and 99 pitches. He walked two batters and struck out six, and besides his leadoff home run to Matt Olson in the sixth inning, the right-hander looked like the Bassitt from earlier in the season, when fans were calling for a contract extension for the Oakland A’s transplant. Bassitt lowered his season ERA to 3.79 following the quality effort.