Craig Kimbrel is the second coming of The Great Rivera, and how Andrelton Simmons is God's Gift to shortstops, and how they're a mortal lock to win the division for years to come, the Braves got to September and immediately fell apart. Now, with their chances of making the postseason on life support, the Mets had a golden opportunity to come in to their house, kick them in the nuts and for all intents and purposes put them out of their misery. In fact, with a sweep, the Mets would pull to within a half game of Atlanta for second place in the division. On a night where the Mets officially were eliminated from Postseason contention, they did their best to try to take the Barves down with them, as Zack Wheeler and company combined on a 5-0 shutout to extend Atlanta's misery and give the Mets a win in the series opener on the road.
Wheeler, who seems to have the number of his home state's team, threw 6 shutout innings en route to his 11th victory of the year and appears on his way to finishing his season with a bang. Wheeler, who's been a little inconsistent as the calendar turned to September and his inning count mounted, righted himself this evening and looked a little more like the pitcher who was really starting to turn into one of the NL's better Righty pitchers and the guy we thought would be #2 in the Harvey-Wheeler 1-2 punch.
But Atlanta's Julio Teheran matched zeroes with Wheeler into the 6th inning, until Lucas Duda reached him for a 2-run Home Run, his 28th of the season. This probably would have been enough for Wheeler, who finished out the 6th before turning things over to Carlos Torres and the Jeurys Familia/Jenrry Mejia Report. The Braves did nothing off of this bunch, but just to make sure, the Mets rallied for 3 runs in the 9th against dainty, toe-tapping Jordan Walden, who came in, pranced around the mound and couldn't throw a strike, walking in a run before being removed from the game in favor of Luis Avilan, who surrendered two more runs on his ledger when Eric Young, Jr. hit a 2-run single to close out the scoring.
This was the sort of game that, far as I'm concerned, showed the true colors on both sides. The Mets, behind Wheeler and some timely hitting, gutted this game out and tried even though this was the night where they were officially eliminated from any sort of postseason contention. The Braves, who've been getting all sorts of smoke blown up their collective asses for years now, folded like a deck of cards when faced with a game against a team they're supposed to be so much better than. After dominating the Mets early in the season, now the Mets have fought back and in spite of the fact that the Braves were this supposed great contender, the Mets are actually 8-9 against Atlanta for the season and if they do their job and play like they did tonight for the rest of the weekend, they can flip the season series in their favor. Sometimes it's nice to play spoiler and kick a team in the nuts that really deserves it.