An update on the redesign

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OK, the changeover to the redesign did not go 100% according to plan.  But I assure you, we’re now only leaking, like, 5,000 barrels a day and we’ve sprayed chemical dispersants all around the affected area. We’ll be sunning ourselves on Mississippi beaches in no time.

Once again, apologies for the glitches earlier today.  As I mentioned on Twitter and in the comments, HBT is NOT becoming a registration site. That was a technical issue that, for reasons that aren’t terribly important to go over, wasn’t apparent until we actually went live.  It should be fixed now, but by all means, drop us a line (note the fancy “tips/feedback” button in the upper right) if you see any other problems.  Other matters:

While we will not be going to registration for reading the site we are going to keep with registration for comments.  This is something we should have hipped you to earlier, I confess, and I apologize for not doing so.  It’s something we do with great reluctance, but we’ve had enough issues with spam, impersonators and the like to where it’s really our only option.  Frankly, I can’t think of many blogs that don’t have comment registration these days, so such a move was probably inevitable. I think we’ll survive.

The comments will soon be back to oldest first, newest last.  The reverse chronological order thing was a function of solar winds, swamp gas and stuff like that.

The “search” field will return to the upper right soon as well.  To be honest, I have no idea how many of you actually use that, but it’s a pretty good site-searcher as far as those things go. I use it all the time so that I may more easily plagiarize myself.

People still continue to hate the click-throughs even lo these many hours later.  I understand it. I hope you understand why we’re doing it (if not, click here and read my explanation).  One thing I might ask of you to help make it a little more bearable is to give me your opinion:  do you prefer it if we tease the story a bit in the little field on the front page, or would you prefer the first few sentences of the post to appear like I did on this one?

I confess, I kind of like the tease because it gives me yet another opportunity to be snarky throughout the day, but I can see how that might be annoying too.  I think that, regardless of what you say, I’ll probably tease longish posts like And That Happened, but I do want to know what you think. And yes, I understand that you’d like no click-throughs to begin with. I want my hair back too, but it’s just not really in the cards.

That’s all I got right now.  Please keep the criticism coming (hopefully of the constructive variety).  We want to continue to make HBT your number one baseball destination, so if we’re totally wigging out on you, please let us know.   

Swanson, Olson go deep vs Scherzer, Braves take NL East lead

atlanta braves
Todd Kirkland/Getty Images
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ATLANTA — Dansby Swanson and Matt Olson homered off Max Scherzer, lifting the Atlanta Braves to a crucial 4-2 victory Saturday night over the New York Mets and a one-game lead in the NL East.

The defending World Series champions beat aces Jacob deGrom and Scherzer on consecutive nights to take their biggest lead of the season in the division. New York, which held a 10 1/2-game cushion on June 1, faces its biggest deficit of the year with four games remaining.

Atlanta will try for a three-game sweep Sunday night, with the winner earning the season-series tiebreaker between the teams. Even though both teams are headed to the postseason, that’s important because the NL East champion gets a first-round bye in the playoffs.

Swanson’s 24th homer, a go-ahead, two-run shot in the fifth inning, touched off a frenzy among the sold-out crowd at Truist Park, the ball sailing a few rows up into the seats in left-center to make it 3-2. Olson hit his 32nd homer in the sixth, a solo shot into Chop House seats in right to put Atlanta up 4-2.

Austin Riley led off the fourth with a double and scored on Olson’s single to make it 1-all.

Kyle Wright (21-5) gave up two runs and seven hits with one walk and three strikeouts in five innings as he won his eighth straight decision. The Braves have won 16 of his last 17 starts.

New York went up 2-1 in the fifth when Pete Alonso, Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil hit consecutive two-out singles.

The Mets led 1-0 in the first when Brandon Nimmo singled, advanced on a walk and a single and scored on Eduardo Escobar‘s groundout. Wright, who threw 30 pitches in the first, stranded two runners in scoring position to prevent further damage.

Scherzer (11-5) allowed a first-inning single to Riley and a third-inning infield single to Ronald Acuna Jr., who advanced to third on a fielding error by Lindor at shortstop but was stranded when Michael Harris II lined out to center. Scherzer patted his glove and pumped his fist as he walked off the mound.

Scherzer was charged with nine hits and four runs with no walks and four strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings as the Mets were knocked out of first place for only the third day all season.

The Braves have won five of the last six against New York to tie the season series 9-all, outscoring the Mets 37-16 over that stretch.

Atlanta’s bullpen, which posted a 1.70 ERA in September, got a perfect inning from Dylan Lee in the sixth. Jesse Chavez faced four batters in the seventh, Raisel Iglesias faced the minimum in the eighth and closer Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect ninth for his NL-leading 39th save in 46 chances.

Since the Braves were a season low-tying four games under .500 at 23-27 after play on May 31, they have gone 76-32, tying the Los Angeles Dodgers for the best record in the majors over that span. They were a season-worst 10 1/2 games behind the first-place Mets on June 1.

Wright, the only 20-game winner in baseball this season, hasn’t officially become the first Braves pitcher to lead the league in wins outright since Russ Ortiz had 21 in 2003, but the Dodgers’ Julio Urias has 17 and can’t reach 20 before the regular season ends.

Wright will become the first Braves pitcher since Hall of Famer Tom Glavine in 2000 to lead the majors in wins. Houston ace Justin Verlander also has 17.

Wright began the game 1-4 with a 6.75 ERA in six career starts and one relief appearance against the Mets.

The Braves, who got homers from Riley, Olson and Swanson off deGrom on Friday, lead the NL with 240 homers.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets: All-Star RF Starling Marte (right middle finger fracture) has yet to begin swinging or throwing. Manager Buck Showalter said Marte is experiencing less pain but not enough to take the next step in his recovery. Marte has been sidelined since Sept. 7.

Braves: RHP Spencer Strider still has not thrown as he gets treatment on a sore left oblique. Manager Brian Snitker said there is no timetable for the rookie’s return. Strider has been sidelined since Sept. 21.

NICE GLOVE

Harris ran back and jumped to catch Nimmo’s fly against the wall in center field for the first out of the third.

UP NEXT

Mets RHP Chris Bassitt (15-8, 3.27 ERA) will face RHP Charlie Morton (9-6, 4.29) as the teams conclude a three-game series.