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May 13, 2024 6:31 am

After finally solving Braves, Mets shift focus to Phillies

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A come-from-behind, walk-off win Sunday night over Atlanta particularly was satisfying for the New York Mets, who have spent most of the last three decades trying to chase down the Braves in the National League East.

More importantly, though, the victory provided the Mets some momentum heading into a series against the team being pursued by everyone in Major League Baseball.

The Mets will look to build off Sunday’s win on Monday when they host the Philadelphia Phillies in the opener of a two-game series between the divisional rivals. The teams will then play two more games in Philadelphia on Wednesday and Thursday.

Sean Manaea (2-1, 3.31 ERA) is slated to start for the Mets against fellow left-hander Cristopher Sanchez (2-3, 3.22).

The Mets avoided being swept Sunday night when Brandon Nimmo hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning to lift New York past the Braves 4-3 in the finale of a three-game set.

The Phillies’ bid to sweep a three-game series from the host Miami Marlins earlier Sunday ended in walk-off fashion when they fell 7-6 in 10 innings.

The Mets entered Sunday with five wins in their previous 23 games against Atlanta, which came within an out of a no-hitter in Saturday’s 4-1 win. They overcame a pair of one-run deficits Sunday before Marcell Ozuna laced a tiebreaking RBI single in the eighth inning for the Braves, who have won the NL East in each of the last six years and 18 times in the 30 seasons in which they’ve shared a division with New York.

But Jeff McNeil led off the bottom of the ninth with a bunt single and moved to second on Tomas Nido’s sacrifice. Nimmo, who entered Sunday’s game as a pinch runner in the seventh inning after exiting Saturday’s 4-1 loss due to a tight right intercostal muscle, hit the second walk-off homer of his career.

“The Braves are a great team and we know that, but if you want to be the best, you’ve got to beat the best,” Nimmo said. “There (was) a lot of emphasis on not getting swept. We want to win every single day, but today was really special.”

As accomplished as the Braves are, the best team in baseball so far this season is the Phillies, who have won 20 of their last 25 to improve to 28-13 — one game ahead of the Baltimore Orioles and two games ahead of the Braves.

The Phillies twice appeared primed to again beat the Marlins on Sunday — first when they provided ace Zack Wheeler a 3-0 lead in the top of the first and then when they scored three times in the sixth to tie the score 6-6. But Philadelphia left the bases loaded in the 10th before Emmanuel Rivera delivered the game-winning single in the bottom half.

“We’re in good shape,” said Wheeler, who gave up six runs in four innings as his ERA rose from 1.64 to 2.53. “We won the series and that’s our goal, win every series. Dropping one (game) here and there, we’ll take it.”

Manaea earned the win in his most recent start May 6, when he allowed three runs over six innings as the Mets beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-3. He is 1-1 with a 4.82 ERA in three career games (one start) against the Phillies.

Sanchez earned the win last Tuesday after giving up one run over seven innings in the Phillies’ 10-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. He is 1-2 with a 4.12 ERA in six games (three starts) against the Mets.

–Field Level Media

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