Mets’ bullpen falters in 5-3 loss to Braves in 11 innings
NEW YORK (AP) — With Jeurys Familia spending time with his newborn son, the New York Mets had to cobble together the back end of their bullpen.
It didn’t work out.
The Braves rallied for two runs in the ninth to spoil a stellar start by Jacob deGrom and Cameron Maybin had the big hit in the 11th inning, lifting Atlanta to a 5-3 victory over the Mets.
“You saw today, it’s real hard,” manager Terry Collins said, “trying to piece together matchups.”
Familia’s son was born while he was finishing off Friday night’s win. In fact, the Mets say Jeurys Familia Jr. was born moments before the closer got a game-ending double play with the bases loaded.
Familia pitched two days in a row and likely would’ve been unavailable Saturday, but he wasn’t even at Citi Field to give Collins the option.
With a 3-1 lead and 37,794 enthusiastic fans standing and cheering in the ninth, Hansel Robles allowed Maybin’s RBI single and Alex Torres yielded Freddie Freeman’s tying hit one batter later.
Maybin came up with runners on second and third and one out in the 11th, and sent a liner off Carlos Torres (2-3) into left-center for the two-run lead.
“Those guys went out and gave everything they had,” Carlos Torres said, “for me to give up those runs after they played hard core is terrible.”
Andrelton Simmons had four hits for the Braves, who won for just the fourth time in 11 games.
Freeman gave Atlanta the early lead with a mammoth homer off deGrom in the first.
“He’s such a great hitter, you just have to tip your cap and go get him the next time,” Travis d’Arnaud said.
The Braves’ bullpen, on the other hand, was superb after having blowing five saves in June. Six relievers retired 14 of the final 16 batters.
Jason Grilli (2-2) pitched one inning for the win.
Williams Perez, Monday’s scheduled starter, gave up two singles to open the 11th before getting pinch-hitter John Mayberry Jr. to line into a double play to shortstop. He then finished for his first career save.
“We believe in these guys every time they come in,” Maybin said of the bullpen. “They continue to go out there and they continue to compete.”
The Mets used several defensive gems and took advantage of an error by center fielder Maybin in the seventh inning to open a 3-1 lead against Shelby Miller.
New York had runners on base in every inning but the fourth against the Braves’ 24-year-old ace. Miller, though, worked out of every jam until the seventh, when d’Arnaud blooped a single to center. Pinch-hitter Juan Lagares, who singled to start the rally and advanced to third on Curtis Granderson’s double, scored to make it 1-all.
Granderson scored when Maybin bobbled the ball in center field for an error. Dana Eveland replaced Miller and Lucas Duda then doubled.
In 6 1/3 innings, Miller allowed a season-high eight hits and three runs, which boosted his ERA from 1.84 to 2.02.
DeGrom struck out nine in seven innings. He allowed five hits and one run.
He also knocked down Maybin’s sharp comebacker in the third and threw home to nail Simmons trying to score, keeping it 1-0.
“I think I field my position very well,” deGrom said. “I feel that since I don’t fall off the mound I have the chance to be in a good fielding position to react to the ball.”
Flores made a nifty stop, spin and throw to end the seventh with a runner on third. And Darrell Ceciliani, having just moved from center field to left, threw out Maybin trying to tag up on Freeman’s sacrifice fly in the eighth with a perfect throw.
After third baseman Danny Muno made his third error, with two outs in the eighth, Bobby Parnell made his first relief appearance in over a year because of Tommy John surgery and gave up a single. He then got A.J. Pierzynski to ground to second base to maintain a 3-1 lead.
“I felt good mechanically there, but I’ve still got some work to do,” Parnell said.
Mets: 2B Daniel Murphy (left quad strain) had six at-bats in an extended spring game. He did not run the bases.
Braves: RHP Mike Foltynewicz was roughed up in his last start, allowing five runs and 12 hits against the Padres. He’ll be making his ninth career start and first against the Mets.
Mets: Dillon Gee will make a spot start as part of New York’s effort to manage its young starters’ innings this season. Recently demoted to the bullpen, the right-hander’s outing will give an extra day of rest to Matt Harvey, deGrom and Noah Syndergaard. Gee is 6-5 with a 3.09 ERA in 16 starts against the Braves.