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METS, BRAVES BASEABLL

By Arnie Leshin 
I sometimes forget I even had it, but on Wednesday I remembered to turn to PIP (Picture in Picture) to watch both the pesky Miami Marlins at the New York Mets and the last place Washington Nationals hosting the Atlanta Braves.
Since way back in April, the Mets had held on to first place in the National League East except for one recent day when the second place defending World Series champion Atlanta served a day a half-game in front. That’s been it as the teams now have six games left, and until Wednesday were tied for the top spot. If they finish in a regular season tie, New York owns the tiebreaker.
So I figured the Mets would recover at home after losing the first of the two-game set Tuesday versus the Marlins, and in the nation’s capital, Washington, with the worst record in the major league, would find it difficult getting past the red-hot Braves.
Thus, I figured again this could occur and the teams would remain deadlocked on top of the heap.
Both games started around the same time at night, and while New York was behind 2-0 and then 4-0 at Citi Field, somehow Washington had scored a quick run in the bottom of the first and held it until annoyed Atlanta tied it at 1-1 in the sixth. In the seventh though, the Nats struck again and went in front 2-1 until the Braves did the usual, tying things at 2-2 in the top of the ninth.
It looked now as Washington made a gallant try to upset the cart, Atlanta wasn’t going to lose this tight tussle.
Meanwhile, the Mets were hanging around, but their bats weren’t producing. It appeared like they could finish the night a game behind for the Braves largest lead of the long season.
So I remained with my PIP picking up both games and see what actually did transpire.
But when Miami’s shutout bid was looking like a winner, in Washington it remained 2-2 as they turned to extra innings where each team began the frames with a no-out runner on second base. But after the Braves failed to score in the 10th and left two runners aboard, the Nationals looked fired-up coming to bat.
Their initial out was a short flyball to left, but followed by an Atlanta mistake that put runners on first and third. One out later, C.J. Adams lined a base hit to right that turned into the 3-2 game winner and his third hit.
The Mets saw this, their fans saw it, and in the eighth inning they finally scored as Eduardo Escobar, 33 years old, the smallest Met on the roster at about 5-5, continued his red-hot surge with a two-run, two out RBI through the right side of the infield. It remained 4-2 after nine frames and then came the 10th where after Miami could not bring the runner home from second base, up stepped Escobar again with a two-out double to left field that cleared the bases, brought a rousing 5-4 win and the wild celebration now had New York up by a game again.
Escobar, on a night when slugger Pete Alonso, the team leader in home runs and RBI, struck out five times, drove in all five runs and his team even had the tiebreaker as it traveled to Atlanta for the three games. And while the Braves would finish the regular season with three games in Miami, the Mets would be home for three games against Washington. And weather permitting, New York could clinch the tiebreaker with one win at Truist Field.
As for the PIP, when Atlanta lost in stunning fashion, I turned to only the Mets game where their comeback made their night a winner.

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