Braves center fielder B.J. Upton reacts to striking out against the Mets during Wednesday’s loss. (Reuters)
NEW YORK — The Braves have spent the last two weeks proving one of baseball’s simplest and oldest adages: Teams that score a lot win. Teams that don’t score a lot lose.
The Braves’ losing streak hit four games Wednesday night when they fell to the New York Mets, 4-1, at Citi Field. The loss cost Atlanta a share of first place in the National League East with Washington, which took over the top spot with a 6-2 win over Baltimore.
The Braves scored just eight runs in those four losses, which came immediately after a nine-game winning streak in which Atlanta racked up 50 runs.
“We just came out of a nine-game winning streak four days ago and this is the same team that won nine, the same lineup,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “We are going through a little streak right now.”
The Braves are giving themselves plenty of opportunities to score but are failing to do anything with those chances. Atlanta had 40 hits in the last four games entering Thursday’s series finale against the Mets but is hitting just .132 (5-for-38) with runners in scoring position.
On Wednesday night, left fielder Justin Upton and right fielder Craig Heyward singled with one out in the ninth inning against Mets right-hander Jenrry Mejia. Third baseman Chris Johnson popped up before Upton and Heyward advanced a base on a wild pitch, but they were stranded when second baseman Tommy La Stella struck out.
“When we were winning nine in a row, we were driving in the runs (with) situational hitting,” Gonzalez said. “Obviously, we are not doing that now.”
The Braves are confident they’ll resume doing that soon.
“I do not think anybody is worried about it. Nobody is concerned,” shortstop Andrelton Simmons said. “You have hot streaks and cold streaks. We are going to be fine. Just have to keep battling.”