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Mets vs. Braves Recap: It would have been a whole lot worse if it mattered

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The Mets lost a frustrating ballgame to the Braves on Wednesday night.

The Mets lost a tough game to the Braves on Wednesday night. The upside here is that the game didn’t really matter for the Mets, and a loss like this one would have felt quite a bit worse if it had. Playing spoiler to the Braves isn’t a terrible consolation prize, of course, but it’s not quite on the level of actually contending.

Zack Wheeler got the start for the Mets and began the evening by serving up an opposite-field leadoff home run to Jason Heyward. He retired the next three batters he faced, though, and threw a scoreless second inning, too. The Mets tied things up in the bottom of the second on a Wilmer Flores solo home run.

But Wheeler labored in the third inning, and the Mets fell behind again. After a ground out and a bunt single, Wheeler gave up a double to Freddie Freeman to put runners at second and third with just one out. Justin Upton—who has struggled big time against Wheeler in a tiny sample—grounded out to second base but plated the Braves’ second run in the process. Wheeler induced another ground ball, this time hit to short, but Ruben Tejada botched the easy play and allowed the Braves to score their third run of the game. That wound up being enough for Atlanta to win the game, but the Mets mounted a couple of significant threats in the eighth and ninth innings.

In the eighth, pinch hitter Eric Young Jr. led off with a single against Jordan Walden. He moved to second on a wild pitch, and Curtis Granderson drew a walk shortly thereafter. Juan Lagares came up and singled to score Young. Unfortunately, Lucas Duda grounded into a double play, and Travis d’Arnaud hit a ground ball so deep in the hole to Andrelton Simmons’s right that it seemed unplaybale, but Simmons made a spectacular play to field it and throw d’Arnaud out at first.

And after Carlos Torres threw a scoreless top of the ninth, the Mets’ first two hitters reached base in the bottom of the inning: Eric Campbell with a single and Matt den Dekker with a walk. That’s when the otherwise-meaningless game got frustrating.

Terry Collins had Wilmer Flores put down a sacrifice bunt with Ruben Tejada on deck. The game was over pretty quickly from there, as Flores was retired on the sacrifice and Tejada—with the infield now in—hit a ground ball to third base that allowed Atlanta to throw Campbell out at home plate with ease. Kirk Nieuwenhuis stepped up to pinch hit, but he popped out to end the game.

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Win Probability Added

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Big winners: Matt den Dekker, +21.2% WPA, Juan Lagares, +18.0% WPA
Big losers: Ruben Tejada, -45.1% WPA, Lucas Duda, -33.4% WPA, Travis d’Arnaud, -17.9% WPA, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, -17.8% WPA, Zack Wheeler, -13.1% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Matt den Dekker’s walk in the ninth, +18.8% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Ruben Tejada’s ground out in the ninth, -33.6% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: -8.4% WPA
Total batter WPA: -41.6% WPA
GWRBI!: n/a because of Tejada’s error

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