Matt Olson’s 3-run homer sinks Mets as Braves take rain-shortened series opener

David Peterson was struggling for answers after his last two outings. His slider was failing him and the left-hander was failing to put lefties away.

Peterson found some of the answers he was looking for Friday night against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field, but his struggles against left-handed hitters continued when he gave up a three-run homer to the left-handed Matt Olson in the Mets’ abbreviated 4-0 loss.

Peterson (1-4) dueled fellow left-hander Max Fried through four innings in miserable, rainy conditions. The two southpaws both went scoreless until the fifth inning when Peterson gave up four earned runs.

Fried (2-0) pitched around a two-out Francisco Alvarez single in the fifth before play was suspended due to rain at 8:34 p.m. Fried went five scoreless innings, lowering his ERA to a ridiculous 0.45.

Peterson looked like a different pitcher through the first four innings. His command was good and his pitch sequencing was effective. He faced only two over the minimum going into to the fifth and there were no signs of struggle.

However, as the rain became increasingly more difficult to navigate Peterson’s command wavered. Eddie Rosario singled up the middle and former Mets outfielder Kevin Pillar doubled to left to put Rosario on third. Rosario got caught in a rundown when Michael Harris II hit a grounder to Brett Baty and third base for the second out.

But Ronald Acuña Jr. flared one into right field to score Pillar and make it 1-0. Then came the big hit by Olson. Peterson threw him a slider right over the fat part of the plate and he drove it 433 feet into the stands above the bullpens in right-center field.

Then came heavier rainfall and the Mets had no chance to make up the deficit. A crowd of 29,240 began to dwindle. Those who stayed watched the Islanders play Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Playoff series against the Carolina Hurricanes on the scoreboard during a 1:28 delay.

It wasn’t the way the Amazins’ wanted to start a four-game series against their NL East foes, especially not after the way the 2022 season series ended. The Braves went 10-9 against the Mets last season but won the last six of seven, including a three-game sweep late last September where the Braves overtook the Mets to effectively clinch the division.


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Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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