Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman reminded the New York Mets and their fans he still owns the title of “Mets Killer,” as he came off the bench and tied a career-high with five RBIs in a 6-3 series finale victory.
When the lineup cards were originally submitted, Atlanta’s franchise player Freddie Freeman wasn’t slated to play as he is still battling with some right wrist discomfort that took him out of play for about five weeks back in June and into August.
However, in the bottom of the seventh with the bases loaded, Freeman came to the plate as a pinch hitter and delivered with a two-run double that smashed off the right field wall, giving the Braves a 3-2 lead. With the game tied at three runs apiece in the top of the ninth inning, thanks to a two-out RBI single by David Wright in the seventh, Freeman would come to the plate and belt a three-run home run to center to give Atlanta a 6-3 lead.
“The wrist has been bothering me for a couple of weeks now and it’s definitely worse,” Freeman said postgame. “I just have to muster up and play through it and I told Skip before the game that if a big situation comes up, I’ll go up and hit.”
With Atlanta taking two out of three from the NL East-leading Mets at Citi Field, this is just the second road series win since the All-Star break. These back-to-back wins help Atlanta’s quest to avoid their first 100-loss season since the 1988 season where they went 54-106. With nine games remaining on the season, the Braves need to one more game to avoid the century mark.
Coming into the game, Mets starter Bartolo Colon had won all four of his starts against the Braves this year. Colon continued his success as he started his outing setting down the first 14 batters he faced. It started to unravel for Colon in the seventh inning when he gave up three singles to A.J. Pierzynski, Andrelton Simmons and Cameron Maybin to load the bases. Colon would be removed from the game and Michael Bourn proceeded with an RBI single and Freeman would follow with the aforementioned go-ahead two-run double.
The Mets right-hander finished the game going 6.1 innings where he allowed three runs on five hits. Jeurys Familia (2-2, 1.93 ERA) would get the loss as he allowed three runs in the ninth inning.
Williams Perez would get the start for Atlanta and after giving up a solo home run to Daniel Murphy in the first and an RBI single by Ruben Tejada in the second; Perez would shut the Mets lineup down. He lasted six innings allowing two runs on seven hits, while walking one and striking out two. Edwin Jackson (4-3, 3.29 ERA) would get the one as he faced only one batter and struck him out. Arodys Vizcaino recorded his seventh save of the season in a scoreless ninth inning.
“Ultimately, we’d like to play better and have that magic number shrink because we’re winning and not have it shrink be they’re losing,” David Wright said after the game.
Despite the loss, New York’s magic number moves to five as the Washington Nationals were defeated by the Baltimore Orioles. With 10 games remaining for the Mets (11 for Washington), they hold a 6.5 game division lead. It would take an epic collapse for the Mets to give way to the limping Nationals.