The Mets made the wrong kind of franchise history during what was a miserable three-game series against the Braves in Atlanta. Jun 8, 2023; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Tommy Hunter (29) on the field pitching against the Atlanta Braves during the tenth inning at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves defeated the New York Mets on Thursday, winning 13-10 in extra innings to complete a sweep. For the Mets, the three games in Atlanta were as disastrous as a three-game series in June can possibly be for a team.

Thursday’s game was rough. The Mets led 10-6 going into the bottom of the sixth inning and 10-7 going into the bottom of the eighth. But Travis d’Arnaud hit a two-run home run to trim the lead to 10-9 going into the ninth inning. Orlando Arcia tied it with a solo shot in the ninth.

Then, in the tenth inning, Ozzie Albies sent the fans in Atlanta home happy, hitting a walk-off three-run shot.

That loss, in a vacuum, is bad enough for the Mets. But when we put it into perspective with the rest of the series, it gets worse — a lot worse.

On Tuesday night, New York carried a 4-1 lead into the bottom of the sixth inning, but still lost 6-4. On Wednesday, the Mets were up 4-1 heading into the bottom of the fifth inning. They lost 7-5. Those losses, combined with what happened on Thursday, meant that New York was swept in a three-game series despite holding a lead of at least three runs in every game.

That’s a first in the history of the franchise.

Seeing the lead the Mets had in every game, it would be natural to think that New York was swept in a series that it could have swept. And that’s true. But, it’s worse.

The win probability charts for each game show that the Mets not only could have swept the series, they should have.

The reaction to Thursday night’s game — and the series in general — was rough.

While there’s a lot of baseball left to be played, the Mets have dug quite a hole for themselves in the National League East. Not only are they 8.5 games behind the first-place Braves, but they sit in fourth place at 30-33. However, there is some good — or at least, less bad — news.

The National League Wild Card race is a huge cluster. Only 7.5 games separate the Pittsburgh Pirates, who, as of Thursday night, hold the final Wild Card spot in the league from the Colorado Rockies — the NL’s worst team. New York, meanwhile, is only three games back of the Pirates.

So many teams being in the mix means that the Mets do need to get going quickly. If New York continues to struggle, the number of teams in the postseason race makes it likely that at least one or two will get hot and create significant separation from them. But there is still more than enough time left to salvage something out of what’s been a miserable season.

[Mike Mayer, Codify]

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