Timeliness of games in the Major Leagues Although Thursday night was relatively uneventful, the main event more than made up for it. Max Fried and Jacob deGrom were set to face off for the Braves as they hosted the Mets, who were in first place at the time.
By a score of 3-2, the Braves would emerge victorious.
With a 10-4 record, 2.60 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, and 127 strikeouts in 138 2/3 innings this season, Fried was a formidable opponent despite not having started since August 6 due to a concussion. After recovering from shoulder and elbow injuries, deGrom had only made three starts. He had a 2-0 record, a 1.62 ERA, a 0.42 WHIP, and 28 strikeouts in 16 2/3 innings to start the game.
By the third inning, the Braves had staged a comeback and scored two runs. Mark Canha’s two-run homer in the fifth inning brought the Mets even. Michael Harris scored the winning run in the seventh inning on an extremely aggressive send from Ron Washington:
As it turned out, two bases were covered by that grounder. Even though deGrom had already left the game, he was still held responsible for that run (which scored from first).
Fried allowed two runs on four hits over seven innings. Even against deGrom, the Braves only scored three runs on five hits in six and a third innings. The top-notch starters struck out 15 batters and walked none.
Taking three of four from the Mets means the Braves’ NL East lead is now only 3 1/2 games. In the Braves’ eyes, this was a huge win because even a split by the Mets would have cut the deficit to 5 1/2 games. In their previous two series, the Mets had swept both games.
Not until a crucial three-game series in Atlanta from September 30-October 2 will the two teams meet again, which could decide the division. In order to do so, however, the Braves will need to win more games than the Mets between now and then.
We’ve calculated the remaining strength of schedule for each team based on the opponents’ winning percentage.
Braves (.484): 3 vs. HOU, 3 at PIT, 3 at STL, 3 vs. COL, 3 vs. MIA, 2 at OAK, 3 at SEA, 3 at SF, 3 vs. PHI, 3 vs. WSH, 4 at PHI, 3 at WSN, 3 vs. NYM, 3 vs. MIA.
Three against Houston, three at Pittsburgh, three in St. Louis, three against Colorado, three against Miami, two against Oakland, three at Seattle and San Francisco, three against Philadelphia and San Francisco, three against Washington and Philadelphia, four against Philadelphia and Washington, three against Washington and San Francisco, and three against Miami. .463 for the Mets with wins at PHI (4), NYY (2), COL (4), LAD (3), WSN (3), PIT (3), MIA (3), CHC (4), PIT (3), OAK (3), MIA (2), ATL (3), and WSN (3).
It’s worth noting that the division winner appears poised to earn the No. 2 seed in the National League and a first-round bye into the NL Division Series (NLDS). Whoever doesn’t win will likely be the top wild card (fourth seed), which means it will host a best-of-three series against the second wild card (fifth seed). Since the new playoff format does not allow for reseeding, the Mets and Braves would not be able to play each other until the NL Championship Series if things continue on their current course.
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