Mets hope to shake off tough loss to Braves

Field Level Media

August 24, 2019 at 7:37 am.

The Atlanta Braves might have recorded their most exhilarating win of the season Friday night. The New York Mets can only hope they didn’t endure their most damaging loss.

The Braves will look to build on the momentum of their 14-inning victory when they visit the Mets in the middle game of a three-game series. Left-hander Max Fried (14-4, 3.84 ERA) is scheduled to take the mound for Atlanta against New York right-hander Zack Wheeler (9-7, 4.40 ERA).

The National League East-leading Braves outlasted the Mets for a 2-1 win Friday night, when the newest member of the team, outfielder Billy Hamilton, laced a tiebreaking single in the top of the 14th. Atlanta used 21 players — everyone on its roster except starting pitchers Dallas Keuchel and Mike Soroka and relievers Josh Tomlin and Jacob Webb.

Fried and fellow starting pitcher Julio Teheran both pinch-hit in extra innings for Atlanta, which tied a major league record by striking out 26 times against eight Mets pitchers. New York starter Jacob deGrom whiffed 13 in seven innings and also homered for his team’s only run.

“This is right there,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said of the quality of the win. “This is way up there. Way up there. Just how the guys grinded it through the game. I mean, it wasn’t a typical game. All the strikeouts that we had, that’s not us must of the time. But you look at who the starter was and that’s kind of — that guy, he’s so good, he’s so good.”

The Mets have earned similar plaudits by going a baseball-best 27-11 since the All-Star break — a span in which they’ve recorded five wins in their final at-bat — to jump into the thick of the NL wild-card race. New York could have moved within a game of the second wild-card spot, currently held by the Chicago Cubs, with a victory on Friday night.

The Mets appeared destined to record another dramatic win Friday when they had the heart of the order up in the ninth, loaded the bases in the 10th and had the winning run on third base with one out in the 11th. But New York was left to lament what could have been after going 1-for-9 with runners on base following deGrom’s leadoff homer in the sixth.

“We still have that confidence, we still believe that everybody in the lineup can get their job done, get that big hit when we need to,” said outfielder Michael Conforto, who was 0-for-6 and struck out for the second out of the 11th. “Tonight we just didn’t do it. Simple as that.”

Fried had his five-start victory streak snapped on Sunday, when he didn’t factor into the decision after allowing three runs over five innings as the Braves beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-3.

Wheeler also didn’t factor into the decision on Sunday after giving up four runs (three earned) over five innings in the Mets’ 11-5 win over the Kansas City Royals.

Fried is 2-1 with a 2.30 ERA in nine career appearances (five starts) against the Mets. Wheeler is 6-5 with a 3.78 ERA in 13 starts against the Braves.