Braves vs Mets recap Bullpen and bats go big in

Braves vs. Mets recap: Bullpen and bats go big in 5-3 win to secure sweep

For most of the season, the bullpen has been the Atlanta Braves’ not-so-secret weapon. It came out big Sunday night in the most critical game of the season when a squad of Atlanta auxiliaries fired 4 2⁄3 innings of goalless ball, giving Atlanta a home win over the Mets and a very good shot of them securing the playoff bye the first round.

The bats also played a key role in this. Dansby Swanson and Matt Olson both hit homers, each for the third time (and game) of the series. Travis d’Arnaud had the game’s defining at-bat when he rolled a grounder down center with loaded bases to turn a 3-2 deficit into a 4-3 lead. After that, the scoring mostly settled down, and the game ended at a blistering pace with a win in Atlanta.

Unlike the other two games in this series, the Braves actually got on the board first against Chris Bassitt, as Dansby Swanson didn’t wait for a later plate appearance before exiting the building:

That homer came a frame after Charlie Morton smothered a two-out rally by defeating Eduardo Escobar with four straight curveballs. However, Morton wasn’t nearly as lucky in the second or most of the rest of the game: Daniel Vogelbach netted a 2-0 cutter to lead the next half inning from the top and smashed it down right center to end the game to balance . Morton later allowed a few singles but crushed Francisco Lindor in a strikeout for the third out.

After a leadoff walk against Bassitt went nowhere in the bottom of the second, the Braves stayed with Morton despite a tough inning. On the second frame in a row, a lefty (this year, Morton’s kryptonite) landed on Morton, this time in the form of Jeff McNeil. The next two batsmen both hit out, and alarm bells probably went off somewhere… but not in the Braves’ dugout. Vogelbach was up front again but Morton stayed in the game to allow a weak roller that got past Matt Olson but probably shouldn’t have been. That sent the runners to the corners and gave the Mets a 3-1 lead. Morton evaded further damage with a popout, a strikeout, and then a groundout, but the Braves had their work cut out for them.

Luckily they’ve been very good at completing their work this series, and Chris Bassitt has struggled even worse than Morton. Orlando Arcia and Ronald Acuña Jr. each started the rally with a grounder single and eight-pitch walk. Swanson then drummed another ball from Bassitt, but that one died in the middle, allowing both runners to move. Bassitt then knocked Austin Riley to the ground and his command deteriorated further as he then forced Olson on a run. It was Travis d’Arnaud’s turn, who despite a 2-0 start stayed seven pitches tough before lucky enough to find a weak grounder far from Mets infielders to turn the game:

That was it for Bassitt and for the rally as Trevor May showed up and got Marcell Ozuna to jump out.

Despite facing the lineup for the fourth time, Morton raised some eyebrows and then relaxed some bile ducts by having a 1-2-3 frame. The Braves were also okay against May. After Morton Escobar allowed a one-out single in the fifth, the Braves decided that was enough at that point and lifted it before facing Vogelbach a third time. Morton finished the game with 4 1⁄3 innings, a K/BB ratio of 5/1 and two more longballs allowed. It wasn’t a good start but tonight it was good enough.

After Morton departed, the vaunted and seemingly intrepid bullpen of Atlanta got to work. Dylan Lee came out of the chute first, easily making two outs and then two more on top of the sixth. Passing Brandon Nimmo with two outs, he was raised for Collin McHugh, who hit Lindor on three pitches to tie the game up.

Seth Lugo had come in and earned himself a goalless fifth, but Matt Olson greeted him with another thing in sixth:

That actually topped the score, although we didn’t know it at the time. After that, it was all Brave’s bullpen, all the way. Raisel Iglesias, playing a third straight game, allowed McNeil a leadoff single, but nothing else. AJ Minter also allowed a leadoff single in the eighth but erased it on a double-play ball to end the inning. Kenley Jansen, another three-days-in-a-row player, had a soul-cleansing ninth inning and needed just seven pitches to end the game. Nimmo landed just short of Swanson, Lindor initially hit a weak bouncer to Olson and McNeil hit a hard liner but straight to Acuña, who caught him on the stretch and pumped his fist emphatically to underscore the Braves’ dominance over the Mets in this one Series.

With a two-game lead in the division and the head-to-head tiebreaker in tow, the Braves will win the NL East and a first-round bye with either a win or a Mets loss against the Nationals. This black side will travel to Miami for their last three games where they will try to put an exclamation point on a fantastic season before hopefully taking a well-deserved break.

This was a phenomenal game in a phenomenal streak in a phenomenal season. This team is just great.