Mets beat Braves in five-game grand series

There have been more baseball weekends at Citi Field since the Mets moved across the parking lot from the old Shea Stadium. There was even a World Series weekend in 2015 against the Royals, when the Mets were trying to push back that Fall Classic in Kansas City. But even that one wasn’t stronger or more exciting than the ones the Mets gave their fans and gave away this spot last weekend against the Braves.

Here’s everything you need to know, until Edwin Díaz, the best close on the planet, eliminated the team on Sunday to make it four wins for the Mets in five games: In the lone game, the Mets lost Friday night they fell behind, 8-0, after two innings and still brought the potential tie run to the plate in sixth.

That’s why the Mets came out of the Braves series and the weekend feeling like the kings of New York right now, even though they have the same record as the Yankees at 70-39.

At the same time the record-leading Dodgers dominated Juan Soto in a three-game West Coast sweep, the Mets looked just as dominant against the Braves as they extended their lead in the NL East to 6 1/2 games.

And they did what they did against the Braves because their most important players and their biggest stars played like stars. Francisco Lindor, who would be the Mets’ MVP if Pete Alonso wasn’t, had eight hits in five games against Atlanta on 18 at bats. He scored six runs and hit three and appeared to be on base all weekend.

Alonso? He had eight hits in five games, on 19 at bats, scored four and struck out in seven as he continues to battle Aaron Judge for the RBI lead in baseball. During Sunday’s games, Judge had 97 RBIs and Alonso had 95. And even though Judge has been the face of the game so far this season, there’s just no way to say he has been more valuable to the Yankees than Pete Alonso, the Polar Bear, is to the Mets.

“The only way to properly describe Pete is with an expression I heard a lot when I was growing up,” Buck Showalter said the other day. “He is strong in the country.”

Then there’s Diaz. He started the weekend by earning a two-inning stoppage on Thursday night, then finished, to the trumpets of Blasterjaxx’s “Narco” (it was probably still ringing in the ears of Braves players when they walked into the game). ‘plane team), simply gassing Dansby Swanson, Matt Olson and Austin Riley to slam the door shut once and for all, in game five of five.

And finally — perhaps to save the best for last with two starters — there’s the work of two Mets aces, Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom, making the top of the Mets rotation what they all hoped for. to be once Scherzer was signed as a free agent.

“Just wait until we’re at our best,” Showalter kept repeating as the Mets waited in April, May, June and July for deGrom to be healthy again.

Scherzer and deGrom pitched a total of 12 2/3 innings this weekend. They combined to strike out 23 batters. The lone walk was dropped by deGrom (against the penultimate batter he faced on Sunday) in the top of the sixth, before Swanson ended his day by taking deGrom over the wall to right center. In his second start, deGrom retired the first 17 he faced, striking out 12 of them. On Saturday night, Scherzer struck out 11 in seven innings, without a walk, allowing only four hits himself.

Want to know what Games 1 and 2 of a playoff series could look like at Citi Field? They could look like this if Scherzer and deGrom stay healthy. Against the Braves, the two reminded you of the T-shirts we first saw before the season even started, designed to look like a presidential ticket:

Again: On the East Coast, the Mets looked as great as the Dodgers in Los Angeles, and the Mets did it against a better team — the Braves — than the Padres right now. Those two starts from Scherzer and deGrom, both looking as dominant as two starters could get. Saves Diaz’s numbers 24, 25 and 26. On top of all that, Showalter’s third hitter and their cleanup guy combined for 16 hits, 10 RBIs and 10 runs. Showalter always talks about how Lindor and Alonso “post”, which means they both go to the post almost every day. They post. And show yourself. And did it all against the Braves.

The Mets showed up last weekend, a great New York baseball weekend, with their best guys and their best team. And who knows? Maybe, now that deGrom is back, they’re just getting started.