Mets aces have no answers against Braves big bats

ATLANTA — When the Mets open a series with Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer pitching back to back, displays of power are expected.

But not by the other team.

A few of the Braves’ mighty bats outplayed the Mets’ dynamic arms in the first two games of the biggest series of the season. Dansby Swanson, Matt Olson and Austin Riley were again in the middle of the Braves’ goal bursts on Saturday night in the Mets’ 4-2 loss at Truist Park.

The Atlanta trio combined to go 11-for-23 with five home runs and seven RBIs as the Braves took the series win and edged the Mets in eastern Newfoundland.

Pete Alonso, Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil certainly haven’t been the Mets’ problem. They combined to go 8 for 23, but with only one RBI. The Mets have been successful this season by stacking hits, which is more difficult against the best pitchers in the game, while the literal strength of the Braves has blossomed.

Dansby Swanson hits a two-run homer in the Mets’ 4-2 loss to the Braves.

“That’s what we do. We hit home runs,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said of a club that hit more dingers than everyone but the Yankees. that’s what our team is. You can’t explain it. That’s just what we are.

“It means something when you do it with these guys.”

On Friday, Riley and Olson smashed back-to-back home runs against deGrom in the second inning, before Swanson added one of his own in the sixth.

A night later, the Braves opened with smallball. In the fourth inning, Riley roped in a double over the head of third baseman Eduardo Escobar before Olson led a single against the change to tie the score at 1-1.

Atlanta closed Saturday with a bigger ball. In the fifth inning, Swanson put the Braves up one-for-one, ripping a 432-foot homer and two runs from Scherzer in the left-center seats for a 3-2 advantage.

“It’s a huge momentum thing,” said Swanson, the All-Star shortstop. “It’s just not easy to string together so many successes from guys like that. You have to be opportunistic.

In the sixth, Olson smashed Scherzer’s second pitch of the inning for his 32nd homer of the season, a solo shot that ended the game score. Olson, who replaced Freddie Freeman at first base in Atlanta, may have inherited the Mets-killer role as well.

“They’re not slouches by any means,” Olson said of the Mets co-aces. “Some of the best pitchers in baseball.”

The Mets had just three fewer hits than the Braves in Friday and Saturday games, but they scored five fewer runs. The Braves can sell themselves to charge a powerful swing against deGrom and Scherzer, and the rare misses are punished, not with singles, but with homers.

Braves stars beat Mets stars, but Atlanta’s approach is also a winner.

“We have a lot of power throughout the command,” Olson said. “The ability to change [the game] with a swing is fine, especially when you’re at home and can fire up the crowd and put some momentum on your side.

Mets personnel have gotten away with little over the past two games, while the Braves — and their star performers — have begun trying to pull away from the Mets in the NL East race.

New York Post

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