Michael Harris II went 3-of-4 with a home run, three RBIs, scored two runs and had a dazzling defensive gem in centerfield as the Atlanta Braves beat the New York Mets 7-5 Wednesday night in front of a sellout crowd at Truist Park.
“It was a little bit of both. I mean, when I first hit it I was like, ‘Ah I feel good,'” Harris II said as he explained what went through his mind as he saw the home run ball sail over the centerfield fence. “Yo don’t really feel it off the bat when you hit the sweet spot. So yeah, I felt good. I just took it into track. Giving a salute to the bullpen and I hit my ‘Money Mike.'”
Harris II said he feels good and was grinding himself back into form after some nagging injuries in the first two months of the season.
When asked of Harris’s struggles, Braves Manager Brian Snitker said the game of baseball is all about how a player handles adversity.
“All these guys are better with the adversities they deal with,” Snitker said. Some of them never have it until they get here. And adversity and struggle is part of this business. And you’re never going to stay away from it the entire time you play. You’re going to have no matter what. No matter who you are in this game, you’re never going to completely figure it out. Never be without another hill to climb. It’s just part of it.”
Game two of this pivotal three-game series against the New York Mets has re-ignited the contentious rivalry between the two teams. During Tuesday night’s contest, Pete Alonso drilled a home run off of Bryce Elder and upon entering the dugout he said, “throw it again.” That moment was not lost on the minds of Braves fans. In the first inning, Atlanta starting pitcher Charlie Morton hitAlonso on the left hand. Alonso would have to leave the game. The x-rays were negative and he was diagnosed with a left hand contusion. He’s day to day.
“I don’t want to ever see anybody get hurt,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “And so I’m glad that it’s they said the X-rays were negative, so I’m happy for him. It’s good.”
The Mets built a 4-1 lead after Tommy Pham took Morton deep, scoring Francisco Lindor in the process. It ultimately chased Morton from the game in the top of the fifth inning, only going 4 and 2/3 innings.
Meanwhile, Max Scherzer was dominant as he struck out ten Braves. However, his good form wained at the bottom of the fifth inning. Braves catcher Sean Murphy hit his twelfth home run of the season drawing the Braves to 4-3. Next, centerfielder Michael Harris II doubled to right field, scoring Orlando Arcia and tying the game at 4 in the bottom of the sixth inning. The next batter was Ronald Acuña Jr and he singled, bringing home Harris II. The Braves would take a 5-4 lead and Mets manager Buck Showalter would take the ball from Scherzer.
In the top of the seventh, Brandon Nimmo walked. Two batters later and with the bases loaded, Tommy Pham hit a sacrifice fly to right fielder Ronald Acuña Jr. Nimmo would score and tied the game at five. The catch Acuña made did save multiple runs.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Braves designated hitter Marcell Ozuna doubled. He would later score on a 443-foot home run blast by Harris II to center field, putting the Braves up for good with a 7-5 lead.
A.J. Minter would secure the save and lock down the victory, his eighth of the season.
“This whole team’s tenacity is a difference maker in a lot of games,” Snitker said. “I think that they’re never out of the game. I think if they got an out left or a strike left, as we showed the other day, they have a chance to win a game. And they’ve been like that for a long time.”