Recap: Atlanta Braves score five unanswered runs to top Mets in series opener

New York Mets v Atlanta Braves
New York Mets v Atlanta Braves / Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/GettyImages
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The Atlanta Braves squared off with the New York Mets in the first of three games on Tuesday night. This is just the second time each time has faced one another in 2023 as both teams hope for the NL East title.

Game one featured a pitching matchup between Bryce Elder and Carlos Carrasco. Elder has been a real nice surprise for the Braves in 2023 as he's come into his own as a pitcher. Carrasco had struggled early in the season but after rehabbing from an injury, he's been a much better pitcher for the Mets.

So, the stage was set for an entertaining series between two rivals under the lights in Atlanta. The game did begin a little late as there was a 1 hour and 40 minute weather delay but it was an odd delay as no rain fell at Truist Park. However, that's not the only drama fans would experience during game one.

The game started with a good first inning for Elder and the Braves offense had two runners on with a chance to score in the bottom half of the inning but continued to struggle to score with runners in scoring position. As of Tuesday, the team is 27th in the league with a .219 average with runners in scoring position.

Elder had another great inning as he struck out the side in the top of the second inning. Atlanta was able to break through in that inning and scored via a solo homer off the bat of Ozzie Albies. Albies has struggle batting left-handed this season but has recently started to make better swings from that side.

The third inning is where things started to get a bit more dramatic as Mets bench coach Eric Chavez was ejected with one out in the inning. Elder was able to get two outs in the inning and was close to getting out with the 1-0 lead as he had two strikes on Francisco Lindor but he had other plans and hit a two-run homer to give New York a 2-1 lead.

Elder then issued a walk to Jeff McNeil which was followed by another two-run homerun from Pete Alonso. Alonso got a hanging slider and didn't miss it at all. After returning to the dugout, Alonso shouted something towards the field at Elder. He was yelling "Throw it again, please! Throw it again!"
Why Alonso thought this was necessary, is confusing at best but he chose to do so.

If I've learned anything as a fan, that doesn't always fair well for the person doing the taunting. As the saying goes, "Don't poke the bear." However, he chose to do so as the Mets had a 4-1 lead as Elder appeared to be on the ropes.

Elder, however, was able to settle in and keep the Mets at a three run lead and give the Braves offense a chance to get back in the game. The bottom of the sixth inning was that chance and Atlanta took full advantage. Matt Olson walked and advanced to third after Austin Riley doubled to left field.

Sean Murphy was then able to drive them both in with a double that was absolutely crushed on the first pitch. Atlanta was now down 4-3 and looking to add on more runs. Rosario then struck out and Albies popped on and gave the Braves two outs in the inning. Marcell Ozuna, who has been scorching at the plate lately, lined a double to the left field corner to tie things at four runs apiece.

Ozuna advanced to third on a wild pitch during Arcia's at-bat and then drove in the go-ahead run on a single that just got by Francisco Lindor. Atlanta now led the game 5-4 and headed to the later innings hoping to come away with a victory in game one.

The Braves bullpen did a good job keeping the Mets off the board the rest of the game. Atlanta was able to add on an insurance run in the bottom of the 8th on a strange play. First, Rosario had doubled and advanced to third on an embarassing error by Jeff McNeil.

New York then intentionally walked Ozzie Albies to set up the double play and they almost got out of the inning as Ozuna grounded into what appeared to be a double play. However, the Braves challenged the out call at second base as it appeared Ozzie beat the force out. Atlanta won the challenge and Rosario's run counted to give Atlanta a 6-4 lead.

Raisel Iglesias closed things out for Atlanta with a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the ninth to seal the win for the Braves. He looked absolutely fantastic out on the mound. Bryce Elder earned his fourth win of the season after six innings pitched allowing 4 runs on 4 hits with 2 walks and 8 strikeouts.

The Braves bullpen pitched three scoreless innings between Chavez, Minter, and Iglesias. For a Braves bullpen who has been struggling a bit to be stable, this was a nice change of pace. Atlanta's offense really erupted in the later innings which hasn't been the case all season. If there's anytime to break old habits, now is a good time and they showed us they're capable of doing so.