Game 3 Live Blog

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9:52: And down goes Uribe. Rangers win. It’s 2-1. Now it gets interesting. Bumgarner v. Hunter tomorrow, my friends.  I’ll be back liveblogging then.  Stay tuned to HBT for Matthew Pouliot’s game racap.  Night folks!

9:49: And down goes Huff. Two down, and we’re an out away from this being a competitive series again.

9:47: Feliz makes short work of Pat Burrell. Now on to face hitters who pose an actual threat.

9:43: In comes Neftali Feliz. I’m rather surprised he remembers the route to the mound.

9:41: Ozzie Guillen comes into the booth and says that he was surprised Washington didn’t use Feliz.  Either that or else he was talking about the cruise he’s planning after the Series is over. It’s hard to tell with Ozzie sometimes.

9:37: OK, I now realize just how dumb I’m going to look if Feliz comes in for the save and blows it.  Thank God it’s Saturday night and none of you are reading this. I’ll be able to go back and erase the past few updates!

9:33: O’Day gets out of it. Know what? I don’t care if it worked. It was still a dumb decision. You have to use Neftali Feliz when the game is on the line. That Washington has consistently failed to do so this postseason is inexplicable.

9:27: Darren O’Day comes into the game. There are two out in the eighth. Tying run at the plate. Why on Earth can’t Washington bring his best relief pitcher in here? This is atrocious.

9:25: Colby Lewis hits a dude, and he’s being yoinked.  Ron Washington makes the call to the pen. Now it gets interesting.

9:22: Andres Torres goes yard. 4-2.  This may not be as bad for Texas as you might think. If it stays a save situation, Washington may be forced to hunt down Neftali Feliz and actually use him in this game.

9:21: “Darren Oliver is getting loose.”  The bullpen is soon going to be part of this game for Texas. Don’t go calling this one a victory yet, Rangers fans. Wait a second [phone rings] Ron Washington is calling ME into the game!

9:14: Jeremy Affeldt is pitching. He has a beard, but it’s not as bushy or black as Wilson’s. “Have some mild uneasiness about the beard!”

9:07: Martha Plimpton for “God Bless America?”  Wasn’t expecting that. And since FOX is using this to promote one of its shows — it was even announced by the PA guy — can we dispense with the notion that it’s all patriotic and sacred and stuff?  Bring back “Take me out to the Ballgame,” OK?

9:04: Wow, there goes Cody Ross again. Home run, 4-1, Rangers.  Someone is going to [over]pay him a TON for this postseason performance.

9:03: Pat Burrell just struck out for the third time. He’s brought zilch to the table this series. Or the postseason overall (Burrell is 6-for-37 with 18 Ks). Bochy needs to sit him down.

9:00: Just saw two ads for the same political race in this commercial break. In one, the incumbent was portrayed as a nice man. In the other, pure evil. They both can’t be right! Someone is lying!

8:57: For the second time tonight a Giant pitcher fakes to second and the crowd goes nuts, thinking it’s a balk. Yay for Texas in the World Series, but there are likely a lot of new fans at the ballpark tonight.

8:54: And Francoeur takes a walk.  This, my friends, is not the Giants’ night.

8:53: McCarver on Ian Kinsler’ stolen base: “Posey actually makes a good throw . . .” as the video shows it going well to the third base side of the bag.

8:50: Ah, Jeffy is up with a runner on.  I can’t decide if I want him to go yard or screw himself into the ground whiffing on a big swing.

8:43: And the threat ends with Aubrey Huff on second. The Giants have suddenly reverted to the Giants we all came to know late in the season.  Just not looking good at the plate.

8:41: Was just about to say that Lewis had been walking some dangerous territory with those hanging curves, but then McCarver said it, so let’s just forget it. /stopped clock.

8:39: Know what I don’t care about? Whether Brett Favre starts tomorrow. Anyone else trying to play on a broken ankle would be considered a psycho, a detriment to his team or both. Favre, though? He’s like a kid out there!

8:37:  OK, the runaway train movie looks like it might be good.

8:34: Why is Vlad Guerrero stealing? Shot down, of course. He runs like he’s smuggling cinder blocks, yet off he goes? Eh, Rangers still up 4-0.

8:28: Seriously, what has happened to Sanchez?  He’s been MIA all postseason. Just awful.

8:27: Josh Hamilton just abused that baseball.  Bye-bye Sanchez. Or at least it should be.

8:25: Wow, Uribe flashed some leather, and the neighborhood play at second was fair enough as far as I was concerned.  Wait — replay showed it may not have been the neighborhood play. Nice DP!

8:23: I’ve been digging this low, low strike zone tonight. And by “digging” I mean really, really hating.

8:20: Hey all — this started as a chat, but due to a glitch in the Matrix or something, we kept having technical glitches. So from here on out, it’s a live blog. Upside: while trying to fix the live chat, I missed a horrendous Jeff Francoeur at bat!

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

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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.