NEW YORK – Rather than just dismiss this as another streak, Braves manager Brian Snitker admitted he’s excited to see his team take on the team with the best record in the National League.
“We saw the Mets from afar,” Snicker said. “We knew they were a really good team. They did really good things in the off season. It doesn’t surprise me where they are. I am glad we are playing with them.”
Snitker’s previous sentiments for the game didn’t change as Braves opened this four-game series with 5-2 win over the Mets Monday evening at Citifield. For the first time this year, the World Championship champions played the role of a team capable of defending their title.
“We have a lot of chops and a lot of talent,” said softener Colin McHugh. “We have a World Championship to prove it. We didn’t play our best baseball game, but tonight was a good game.”
Max Fried produced six strong innings and got the boost needed when Ozzie Albis and Travis Darno scored consecutive two-stroke hits during the sixth inning of two rounds. After Tyler Matzek held the rules by a double in the seventh inning, McHugh silenced the home crowd by hitting Mark Canha, who had reached Fried in third.
With the series opening win, the Braves pulled out in five games from the Mets and proved that they were still absolutely confident in their bid to win their fifth consecutive NL East title.
“We believe in ourselves and know we are a good team,” Darno said. “Today, we had everything going.”
While the Mets have won every series they’ve played this year, the Braves have lost or split every series played against the Rangers, Nationals, and Reds, who all currently stand as the last-place teams. Atlanta’s only win in the series this year came last week against the Cubs, who are under 500.
The mid-level may have been a product of World Championship hangovers or just another slow start by a team that hadn’t produced a winning record before the arrival of August last year. But with veteran manager Buck Showalter now leading the much-improved Mets, the Braves realized they needed to live through the series and prevent burial in the depths of the arrangement.
So while winning just one game doesn’t send a message, winning the opening game of four against a talented team might bring at least a little bragging back to the once-sleepy braves. It also doesn’t hurt that the defending champions recently revitalized Ronald Acuna Jr., who slammed into the first baseline for one, made a nice couple on the right field and came within a few feet of the opening game of the series. .
Any concerns about Acuña’s surgically repaired right knee continued to evaporate as he went down the line at 30.5 ft/s. on his own. This is the fastest player the Braves have managed to first base this year.
If Acuña returns to being normal soon, it will boost the production of Austin Riley, who started the sixth big race with a single and also started fourth with Homer season seven. He brought back memories of a former third baseman in Atlanta, where Riley hit nine hurdles in 75 careers at a bat at Citi Field.
Speaking of home runs, the Braves on Monday entered the NL with a 28. But it’s worth noting that 82.1 percent of those were single shots. This team didn’t hit together consistently. Atlanta ranked 11th in the NL in base percentage and second to last with a batting average of 0.215 with the runners in the scoring center.
This information adds to the importance of the crucial sixth role. Albiz cut his bobsled 0-for-21 when he reached across the board to slap an outside fast ball through the empty left side of the court. The variable-hit single was followed by Arnaud’s double against Chris Bassett’s 0-2 slide.
Bassett executed his pursuit. It would have hit the left hitter. But Dar Arnault was able to get his racket on the ball and watch it head to the right court for what was one of the biggest hits of the youth season. His double in two rounds for eighth added a little protection as the Braves sprinted towards what could be a big win.
“It was a huge win on a series like this,” Snicker said. “It was a good match as we played.”
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