Like their fans, Braves and Mets players also watch the scoreboard

Now, we can say it: With the end of the baseball schedule, players from the New York Mets and Atlanta Braves are looking to the scoreboard to keep tabs on each other’s games.

The Braves are defending world champions but had to outlast the Mets last year to claim their fourth consecutive National League East title. This year they’re playing catch-up – although they cut 10 games off New York’s June 1 division lead to nearly a half-game deficit before the margin widened to new this week. But the teams still have seven games to play against each other.

Atlanta will complete a five-game series at CitiField on Sunday, but will face the Mets again at Truist Park in a four-game set next week.

Then the teams play a three-game season-ending series in Atlanta at the end of the schedule.

“It’s going well,” Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo said at the New York clubhouse. “Our team is playing very well and it’s fun to be part of it. We are not only a good team on the pitch but off the pitch. We’re closer to each other than we are around our families, so it’s nice to be around good guys.

When it comes to staring at dashboards, Nimmo conceded he’s indulging — and admits he’s not alone.

“We’re going to check them out,” he said of the Braves, who beat the Mets with a second-half push last season.

“Whether we’re at home or on the road, you play your game and then check and see if they’ve won or lost. We know we have to win games to win our division and it won’t be easy, so we try to focus on ourselves and win every day. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say we check it out a bit.

The Mets haven’t made the playoffs since 2016 or the World Series since 2015 and have endured a long rivalry with the Braves, who won a record 14 straight division titles — often at New York’s expense — from 1991 to 2005.

But that is ancient history for Nimmo.

Described as ‘the happiest man in baseball’ by Mets broadcasters, the Wyoming native laughed when asked if he’d heard he could be named the team’s first captain since David Wright.

“I don’t know how all this talk came about,” said Nimmo, 29, who is in the final year of a contract that pays him $7,000,000.

“I wouldn’t object if this honor was given to me, but it would be up to the team to decide as there are so many great leaders at the club. It’s hard to nominate one guy as captain But I’m glad to be in the conversation.

In the visiting clubhouse, 25-year-old Atlanta third baseman Austin Riley also has reason to be happy: He just signed a 10-year, $212 million contract extension that is the most longest and richest in franchise history.

“I’m very lucky to be with an organization like the Braves,” he said. “For them to trust me, I couldn’t be happier, family-wise, and super grateful.”

Riley knows he can reap more financial rewards if his side win their fifth consecutive NL East title – and even more if they repeat their 2021 World Championship.

“Every year is a new year with new challenges,” he said. “It’s a really good club there and playing them creates a playoff atmosphere. “They’ve got good hitters, their pitchers are doing well and they’re playing exceptional baseball right now. But I think we are just as good if not better.

“It’s a matter of taking it day by day and just trying to play good, solid baseball. If we do that, I like our chances.

Riley admits he’s a dash watcher.

“Of course,” he replied when asked about it. “The reason we play is to try to win another split and have a post-season run. We follow them because we are the team that can catch them.

Atlanta fell five and a half years behind with a double loss on Saturday, but the Mets still have eight games left, including a four-game series in Atlanta next week as well as the final three contests of the 2022 campaign, also at Truist Park. .

Braves slugger Ronald Acuña, Jr., who ended a long slump with eight hits in the first four games of the weekend series at Flushing, won’t admit he’s keeping tabs on d other scores.

“I’m just focused on our team, focused on ourselves,” the Venezuelan outfielder said through an interpreter. “It feels good to be in a [pennant] run again, but I’m just trying to help my teammates.

When asked if he thinks the Mets are better this year, the powerful right fielder declined to comment. “I don’t know, I’m not on their team,” he said, “but I think we’re a better team.”

Acuña, still in great shape after suffering an Achilles tear while trying to catch up on July 10, 2021, is playing on an eight-year, $100 million contract that will keep him in Atlanta until 2029 — and beyond. late if he signs an extension.

Although both teams made a myriad of additions before the Aug. 2 trade deadline, the Mets got immediate dividends this weekend from Tyler Naquin, Darren Ruf and Daniel Vogelbach. The Braves had less success when they inserted newcomers Robbie Grossman, Raisel Iglesias and Jake Odorizzi against the Mets.

Odorizzi, obtained from the Houston Astros for left-handed reliever Will Smith, was the losing pitcher in Game 1 of Saturday’s twinbill.

The biggest difference between the Mets and the Braves is money. New York’s payroll of $261,034,868 ranks second among 30 teams, according to Spotrac, while Atlanta’s payroll of $181,579,487 is ninth. Pitcher Max Scherzer, a 38-year-old right-handed starter who pitched seven scoreless innings to sew Saturday night’s nightcap, is in the first year of a record-breaking, three-year, $130 million deal of $43.3 million per season.

The Braves’ highest-paid player is Charlie Morton, also a 38-year-old pitcher, who earns $20 million a year.

Comments are closed.