The Mets were blown out of the water by the Braves on Tuesday night in a 12-6 loss, and have now dropped two of the first three games of their five game set with Atlanta.
In need of a starter once again, the Mets brought back Jerad Eickhoff for yet another stint.
But unfortunately, the results were disastrous, as Eickhoff gave up 10 earned runs on seven hits with three homers allowed, to go along with five walks in 3.1 innings.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, Eickhoff joined Patrick Mahomes Sr., as the the second pitcher in Mets history to allow 10 runs and five walks in a game.
The Mets were out of options, and were forced to start Eickhoff, after he had spent the past week on his own, as a free-agent, throwing a baseball against a wall in Syracuse in order to play catch. This put the right-hander in a difficult situation, which caused his command to be erratic on the mound tonight.
"It can be really hard and we saw it tonight," said manager Luis Rojas after the game. "He didn't command the way we expect."
"We didn't have another option and yesterday was the doubleheader," he said. "And in Game 2 we didn't have a starter."
Luckily, the Mets are expected to have a full five-man rotation once Carlos Carrasco (torn hamstring) comes back from the IL over the weekend. And Rojas is optimistic moving forward, as they will finally be able to eliminate the substantial amount of TBAs they've dealt with as of late.
"Right now there are names filling the spots in the days ahead," said Rojas. "It feels better that way."
Eickhoff found himself in a bases loaded jam to start the game, before surrendering a two-run double to Dansby Swanson.
In the top of the second, he served up a two-run homer into the Pepsi porch off the bat of Ozzie Albies. And then in the third, Abraham Almonte took him deep for a two-run shot of his own to extend the Braves' lead to 6-0.
In the bottom of the third, the Mets finally got on the board against Charlie Morton when Pete Alonso ripped an opposite field RBI single to cut the deficit to 6-1.
However, Eickhoff came back out for the top of the fourth and immediately found himself in a second-and-third jam with nobody out. After loading the bases, Austin Riley launched a grand slam to blow the doors off on this one, at 10-1.
The right-hander allowed another hit afterwards, and then was finally pulled in favor of Yennsy Diaz. Eickhoff now has an 8.69 ERA on the season.
The Mets were able to chip away some more in the bottom of the fifth when Jeff McNeil extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a two-run blast. This cut the deficit to 10-3.
But the Braves answered back in the following inning, as Riley struck again with a two-run shot off Diaz for his second homer and fifth and sixth RBIs of the night. This increased Atlanta's lead to 12-3.
Charlie Morton tossed five solid innings against the Mets, allowing three runs on five hits, while striking out five and walking two.
In the bottom of the seventh, Brandon Drury, who came into the game as part of a double switch, launched a two-run homer of his own off Braves reliever Edgar Santana to make the score 12-5.
Following Diaz's 2.2 innings, right-hander Drew Smith tossed two shutout innings with three strikeouts. Left-hander Anthony Banda pitched for the second straight evening, and worked around a leadoff error to throw a scoreless ninth.
While McNeil drove in another run on a ground rule RBI double in the bottom of the ninth, the damage had already been done, as the Mets ultimately lost 12-6.
The Mets are now 53-46 on the season, but will hold onto their 3.5 game lead in the NL East after the Nationals hung on to beat the Phillies.