Atlanta Braves lose 7-6 as Mets salvage a win in series finale in Flushing

Yonny Chirinos continued to struggle on the mound as the Braves drop their series finale with the Mets 7-6 on Sunday evening.

Atlanta Braves v New York Mets
Atlanta Braves v New York Mets / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages
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The Atlanta Braves have dominated the New York Mets this weekend and coming into the final game of the series, fans expected more of the same.

Atlanta sent Yonny Chirinos out to the mound and he would face off with Kodai Senga. The Braves offense had not faced Senga yet in 2023. Chirinos hasn't really been that great of an addition for Atlanta yet but there was hope for a decent start with how tough things have been for New York as of late.

It is a weird feeling watching a series against the Mets and it not being an important series where both teams are fighting for the top spot in the division. The Mets came ready to play and took advantage of some poor pitching to win the series finale 7-6 on Sunday. Let's check out some highlights.

First Inning Success Continues for Braves offense

Things started off well as the Braves offense continued their hot first-inning hitting and jumped ahead with a 3-0 lead early on.

Ronald Acuna Jr. led off the game with a single and promptly stole his 55th base of the season. Stealing that base set more history for Acuna as he became just the 8th player in MLB history to have 25+ HR and 55 SB in a season. The last player to accomplish this was Rickey Henderson in 1990.

Ozzie Albies followed that with a walk but he would be out after Austin Riley grounded the ball to Lindor. The Mets would only get the out at second base, however. Matt Olson then walked in his first at-bat of the game to load the bases.

This brought Marcell Ozuna to the plate as he was batting fifth today in place of Sean Murphy who was moved down in the order to 7th. That move paid off for Brian Snitker as Ozuna laced a three-run bases-clearing double to give Atlanta an early 3-0 lead.

Senga settled in after that and got out of the inning. The Mets hurler was a different man after that point and the Braves wouldn't get another hit off of him until the 5th and 6th inning. Atlanta did add on 3 more runs once the New York bullpen took over in the 7th inning.

Sean Murphy hit a lead-off solo home run off of Mets reliever Grant Hartwig to make the score 7-4 after 7 innings. That gave Murphy his 20th homer of the season and gave Atlanta their sixth batter with 20+ homers. That ties a franchise record and is just two players away from the MLB record set by the 2019 Minnesota Twins.

Hartwig was chased from the game in the 8th after Austin Riley lined a double down the left-field line. Brooks Raley checked in next and was greeted by a 2-run mammoth home run by Matt Olson.

That homer was the 43rd of the season for Olson and extended his MLB lead in home runs. That home run also set Matt's pace to 60 homers and his 107 RBI inch him closer to the single-season franchise record for first baseman which is 121. Freddie Freeman and Andres Galarraga share that honor currently.

The Braves slugger is now on pace for 148 RBI this season. Atlanta's franchise record for most RBI in a single season is 145 and was set by Boston Beaneaters outfielder Hugh Duffy back in 1894. It's wild enough that Matt is on pace to break multiple records this year but to have a chance at breaking a record that is over a century old is mind-boggling.

Related Article: Matt Olson Breaks Braves Record for Most Home Runs by Left-Handed Batter in a Season

This brought the Braves within one run of the lead as the score was now 7-6. Fortunately for Mets fans, Atlanta would not be able to add any runs in the ninth inning and the Mets salvaged a win in the last game of the series.

Atlanta Braves v Pittsburgh Pirates
Atlanta Braves v Pittsburgh Pirates / Justin K. Aller/GettyImages

Pitching Woes Continue

Atlanta carried a 3-0 lead into the third inning but the Mets scored their first run of the game on a RBI single from Jeff McNeil. Chirinos was able to get out of the inning and keep the lead at 3-1.

Yonny Chirinos pitched decently for the most part through the first four innings of the game but things absolutely fell apart in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Mets started the inning with back-to-back singles and scored their second run of the game on a ground ball to Orlando Arcia. Arcia was able to get the force at second but was unable to turn two.

He then allowed another single and the Mets had runners on first and second with one out. Pete Alonso then grounded to third base and Lindor was out on the force out but Alonso was safe at first as the Braves couldn't turn another double-play opportunity.

Chirinos then walked in the tying run with back-to-back free passes. He walked Vogelbach to load the bases and then walked catcher Omar Narvaez as New York tied things at 3 apiece. This forced Brian Snitker's hand as Chirinos was at 95 pitches and had lost command.

Collin McHugh checked into the game but that doesn't instill very much confidence at the moment as he has struggled a bit this season. McHugh walked the first batter he faced to give the Mets a 4-3 lead and continued the problem Braves pitchers have been having lately with issuing a lot of walks.

New York added another run to the lead as it appeared the umpires stated the batter was hit by a pitch but it was apparently called catcher's interference. The Braves challenged this play but it was confirmed and the Braves lost their challenge and were now losing 5-3.

The Mets would then score 2 more runs on a single from Rafael Ortega but that would be the end of the Mets scoring as they took a 7-3 lead into the sixth inning. Chirinos finished his day with 4.2 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, and 5 K.

McHugh only allowed one hit through the sixth and seventh inning and covered 2.1 innings for the Braves. Tonight wasn't the best for him but his August ERA is much better than it was in July. In July, his ERA was 5.79 but it is at 1.17 through 7.2 innings so far in the month of August.

Kirby Yates covered the 8th inning for Atlanta and it was uneventful as he held the Mets to their 7-6 lead and handed things back to the offense. Atlanta's pitching has been some of the worst since the All-Star break so that's something that will need to improve if the Braves want to have a shot at a World Series title.

Atlanta Braves v New York Mets - Game Two
Atlanta Braves v New York Mets - Game Two / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

Ozzie Albies exits the game in the 8th inning

Albies was removed from Sunday's game in the 8th inning and replaced by Nicky Lopez. ESPN's announcers speculated it could have to do with something during an at-bat where he didn't run hard out of the box on a groundout. So, the speculation was that he must have injured something or that he was removed due to not hustling.

Braves fans know it's not in Ozzie's nature to not hustle so that certainly wasn't it. There was an update provided by Atlanta and it was that he was removed as a precaution with a cramp in his left hamstring.

Brian Snitker stated after the game that he isn't worried about it. He stated Ozzie was "Just cramping a little bit" and removed him so he didn't have a chance of hurting himself more.

We will see if there are any updates on his condition tomorrow as Atlanta welcomes the Yankees to Truist Park. Keep your eyes here as we will provide updates as they are available.