Freddie Freeman drives in three as Braves top Mets

New York Mets Yoenis Cespedes reacts after striking out swinging for the final out with Asdrubal Cabrera at first base in the Mets 5-4 loss to the Atlanta Braves in a baseball game Tuesday Sept. 20 2016 in New York. ORG XMIT

Collins countered by pinch hitting Eric Campbell – a career.221 hitter – for Bruce.

Atlanta Braves ace Julio Teheran is proving to be the New York Mets’ kryptonite. “I always think I’m the best choice … but he’s the manager, and I respect his decision”.

“I definitely didn’t draw it up like this”, Bruce said following the Mets’ 5-4 loss to the Braves.

It might be true that if you can make it here you can make it anywhere, but there are obviously some players who can’t make it in NY. I don’t deserve any explanations from the manager.

The loss trimmed the Mets’ lead over the San Francisco Giants and the St. Louis Cardinals for the top Wild Card spot to half a game.

Said Collins: “It’s going to be down to the wire”. He is hitting.176 since joining the Mets in an August 1 trade for second baseman Dilson Herrera and left-hander Max Wotell. Coming over here, it’s been tough on me.

“Hopefully, I have some other cool games I can tell him about, too”, Freeman said.

Now, what appeared to be an easy path to a potential home wild card game could get treacherous for the Mets, whose final 16 games are against teams that were under.500 as of September 15.

Bruce didn’t complain about the move, the ninth time in his career he’s been hit for, and first as a Met.

“We’re playing really good, we’ve got everything working right now”, Teheran said, “We’re trying to take it (into) next year”.

The Mets entered the bottom of the eighth trailing the Braves, 5-1, but then scored twice to trim the deficit to 5-3.

Curtis Granderson doubled in a run and T.J. Rivera followed with a sacrifice fly, bringing up Bruce as the potential tying run. That’s when Collins pulled Bruce and sent up Campbell to face lefty Ian Krol.

“You’re going to go into the playoffs looking at Noah Syndergaard as the guy that (has) got to pitch a big game”, Mets manager Terry Collins said. “But my job is to try to win the game”. But I think that’s unlikely. I know he’s struggling.

I agree with Neal Huntington’s sentiment that these last few weeks of the season are important, but I’m quite sure we have different ideas about what it needs to look like for it to be a success.

Atlanta will aim for a second consecutive win over the Mets on Tuesday night, when the NL East rivals meet at Citi Field in the middle game of a three-game series. In his 15 games, one start and 1-1 record, Weber owns a 5.46 ERA with a 1.44 WHIP in 31.1 innings. In four starts against the Mets this year, Teheran is 2-0 with a 0.90 ERA in 30 innings. He struck out Yoenis Cespedes with a runner on first to end it, fooling the slugger badly with a sharp curve. The rookie took a 1-0 lead into the sixth before a misplayed flyball cost him.

NY took a 1-0 lead into the sixth, but the Braves loaded the bases with one out and Matt Kemp’s fly ball to right-center fell between Curtis Granderson and Jay Bruce, tying the game. Granderson and Bruce both backed off at the last moment and the ball fell for a single, giving Kemp his 100th RBI. “I obviously get how the game is played, and you know what his thought process was there. I left it all out there”, he said. He also added a stolen base. He last did it in 2011 with Cleveland.

Steven Matz, who has been out since August 22 with a left shoulder impingement, will rejoin the Mets in NY and throw a bullpen for pitching coach Dan Warthen Wednesday. Mets INF Wilmer Flores (right wrist) received another cortisone shot on Monday and could be available later this week. Collins hopes for a speedy return. He is 7-3 with a 2.36 ERA in 15 career games (14 starts) against NY.

Mets: RHP Bartolo Colon (14-7, 3.14) leads the team in wins.