Video: Charlie Culberson slugs pinch-hit walk-off home run against the Mets

Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Braves utilityman Charlie Culberson came off the bench in the bottom of the ninth inning on Monday afternoon and he slugged a pinch-hit two-run home run to give his team a walk-off 4-3 victory in the first game of a doubleheader.

That was Culberson’s first home run since September 25, 2016 against the Rockies when he was with the Dodgers. Culberson entered the afternoon with a .567 OPS on the season.

The Braves rallied late again, scoring once in the seventh inning on a Tyler Flowers home run. They scored once more in the eighth as Nick Markakis hit a sacrifice fly to tie the game against Seth Lugo. Mets catcher Devin Mesoraco gave his team the lead back in the top of the ninth with a solo shot of his own, but it wasn’t enough of a cushion Seth Lugo, who served up the walk-off dinger.

The Mets fall to .500 for the first time this season. It’s been quite a tumble considering they ended April with a 17-9 record. They’ve gone 8-16 in May and have lost six of their last seven contests. With the win, the Braves guaranteed they would be in at least a tie for first place in the NL East by the end of Monday night. The Braves enter the back end of the doubleheader leading the Phillies and Nationals by one game.

Phillies’ Bryce Harper to miss start of season after elbow surgery

Getty Images

PHILADELPHIA – Phillies slugger Bryce Harper will miss the start of the 2023 season after he had reconstructive right elbow surgery.

The operation was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

Harper is expected to return to Philadelphia’s lineup as the designated hitter by the All-Star break. He could be back in right field by the end of the season, according to the team.

The 30-year-old Harper suffered a small ulnar collateral ligament tear in his elbow in April. He last played right field at Miami on April 16. He had a platelet-rich plasma injection in May and shifted to designated hitter.

Harper met Nov. 14 with ElAttrache, who determined the tear did not heal on its own, necessitating surgery.

Even with the elbow injury, Harper led the Phillies to their first World Series since 2009, where they lost in six games to Houston. He hit .349 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 17 postseason games.

In late June, Harper suffered a broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch and was sidelined for two months. The two-time NL MVP still hit .286 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs for the season.

Harper left Washington and signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies in 2019. A seven-time All-Star, Harper has 285 career home runs.

With Harper out, the Phillies could use Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber at designated hitter. J.T. Realmuto also could serve as the DH when he needs a break from his catching duties.