Riley homers again as Braves beat Mets in series finale

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 29: Austin Riley #27 of the Atlanta Braves watches his 2-run home run during the fourth inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field on July 29, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 29: Austin Riley #27 of the Atlanta Braves watches his 2-run home run during the fourth inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field on July 29, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images) /

It was a frustrating yet winning road trip for the Atlanta Braves as they take the final game of a hard-fought series against the Mets.

 The Atlanta Braves set out on this trip against the Phillies and Mets in hopes of making up some major ground in the division standings.

Things looked promising as they started off the Mets series with a win after a tough series in Philly.

However, the Mets fought hard and didn’t make it an easy task despite the Braves scoring 10+ runs in two of those games.

Atlanta leaves New York with a 5-4 road trip and just one game back of the Mets for the division lead.

While being four games back after playing 5 games with the Mets is disappointing, at least they gained a little bit of ground. They are far from being out of this race.

The trade deadline is quickly approaching and I hope that Alex Anthopolous makes some strong moves to put this team in a favorable position to take the division from New York.

Atlanta continued to rake the ball during Thursday’s contest. Yes, this included yet another Austin Riley home run.

Raking Riley

Riley put the Braves on the board in the fourth inning when he crushed a go-ahead 2-run homer to left-field. He finished the day 2-for-4 with 3 RBI.

Austin has been hitting so well for Atlanta this year and has made some major strides to be the player we all expected him to be.

In the last 15 games played, he has 19 hits including 7 home runs and 18 RBI. His slash line is .345/..406/.782 as well. That is absolutely absurd.

Oh, and remember how Chipper Jones used to own the Mets in his career?

Riley is taking a page out of his book as he has just crushed New York pitching in 2021.

He has a .339 average, .786 slugging percentage, and a 1.179 OPS including 11 extra-base hits and 16 RBI when facing the Mets this year.

In his career at Citi Field he has hit 8 home runs and drove in 15 runs across 78 plate appearances.

I can’t fail to mention, that in this series, Riley earned a .421 AVG, .450 OBP, 1.053 SLG, and 1.503 OPS.

This included 8 hits including 4 homers, 10 RBI, 1 BB, and 5 K. He is absolutely unreal.

It has been a fun ride to see the Atlanta third baseman come into his own this season. I hope there are many more years to come.

More encouraging news

Not to be outdone, Abraham Almonte and Dansby Swanson also decided they would get in on the fun as they each smacked homers of their own.

Dansby’s home run had some merit to it as this was his 18th home run which is a career-high for him.

This also has Dansby on pace to break the Braves franchise record for home runs in a single season by a shortstop.

He has looked like a different player since the All-Star break and is coming off of one his best weeks of the season.

In his last fifteen games, Swanson has a slash line of .262/.308/.590 with 16 hits including 5 HR and 12 RBI.

It’s nice to see him starting to turn a corner for Atlanta and provide some production.

Speaking of providing production, the Atlanta Braves bullpen was excellent during Thursday’s contest in New York.

Drew Smyly, who has been great for the Braves as of late, had another decent outing.

The Braves have won 8 of the last 9 starts by Smyly and that is a trend that needs to continue.

It didn’t end pretty for Drew as Pete Alonso drove him from the game in the fifth inning after launching a long homer into the seats. Luckily for him, Jesse Chavez finished out the inning without further damage.

Smyly finished with 4 innings of work allowing 3 earned runs on 9 hits, 1 walk, and 6 strikeouts.

The real standout of this game was the bullpen.

They kept New York at bay the rest of the game and did so impressively.

Chavez, Matzek, Jackson, and Smith all combined to allow no earned runs on 3 hits with 5 strikeouts and most importantly, ZERO walks.

The winner of the most impressive outing of the day goes to Tyler Matzek who threw just 12 pitches across two innings of work. 11 of those pitches were for strikes.

He also struck out two batters during his performance as well.

This was likely one of the most complete games played by Atlanta this season. I would love to see more games like this.

Atlanta heads home for a short homestand against the Milwaukee Brewers for 3 games.

They hope to keep the momentum from Thursday’s win and start a nice, long winning streak.

dark. Next. Ender says goodbye to Braves Country

While I’m disappointed the Braves weren’t able to gain more than a game on the Mets, it could have been much, much worse and we could be 7 or 8 games back of the lead.

Fortunately, that is not the case and we are still in this thing.