The Mets carried in a four-game winning streak — their longest of the season — into Thursday night, and looked to make it five in a row with Bartolo Colon on the hill in the final game of the series against the Atlanta Braves. Colon would also surprisingly bat eighth in Terry Collins‘ lineup.
Aarron Harang, who had previously dominated the Mets, did the same again on Thursday night, giving Atlanta a 3-1 win.
After three nights of frustration, Atlanta jumped on the board quickly. Met killer Freddie Freeman drove in Andrelton Simmons with the first run of the game with a double to right. Jason Heyward then drove Freeman in with a single. Colon did strike out three in the inning, though.
Harang had better luck in the first, setting the Mets down in order.
The Braves got things rolling quickly in the second when they put runners on first in second. Bad base running, however, helped the Mets out. Harang failed to get a bunt down on three attempts, and Christian Bethancourt fell asleep at second, and the Mets after a rundown got him out for a double play. Colon then induced the light-hitting B.J. Upton to pop out to short center.
It took until two outs into the second, but the Mets had their first hit — a booming double off the left field wall by Juan Lagares. Ruben Tejada followed with a walk, but Harang struck out Colon to end the threat.
Back-t0-back hits in the third gave the Braves a quick chance, as Simmons and Freeman connected for singles. Colon got Justin Upton to hit into a double play, although Simmons came in for the third run.
Hitting ninth in the order, Eric Young, Jr. got the Mets’ half of the fourth started with a single and steal of second base. Daniel Murphy followed with a walk and David Wright then singled to left to bring in Young with New York’s first run. But that’s all they’d get, as Lucas Duda and Travis d’Arnaud flew out and grounded out, respectively.
The Mets had a bases-loaded chance with two outs in the fifth inning and red-hot d’Arnaud at the dish. The young catcher got ahead in the count, but Harang used his sharp breaking ball to get d’Arnaud to fly out to center to end the inning.
Despite his early troubles, Colon worked through eight innings, and kept the Mets in the game. A valiant effort by the veteran right-hander.
Jordan Walden replaced a brilliant Harang in the eighth and got into trouble right away when Wright led off the inning with a walk. With one out, d’Arnaud ripped a single to left to get the lead run up to the plate. Lagares popped out for the second of the inning, and then Braves manager Freddy Gonzalez decided to bring in closer Craig Kimbrel for the four-out save.
Instead of letting Ruben Tejada bat, Collins brought up Kirk Niuewenhuis as a pinch hitter. Kimbrel won the battle with a punch out to end the inning.
Carlos Torres replaced Colon for the ninth and pitched a scoreless frame.
There would be no walk-off, comeback magic on this night, and Kimbrel closed out his 28th save of the year with a 1-2-3 ninth.