Muller, Braves blank Mets to take Game 1

NEW YORK — Kyle Muller wasn’t ready at the start of the season, but it appears he is now more than capable of spending the next couple months doing whatever he can to help the Braves keep their postseason hopes alive.

Muller helped create a run and he escaped two challenging threats while guiding the Braves to a 2-0 win over the Mets in the first game of a doubleheader at Citi Field on Monday afternoon.

With the win, the Braves (49-50) moved within four games of the first-place Mets (52-45) in the National League East. Atlanta needs a strong showing in this five-game set to improve its place in the division race and to influence what the front office does before Friday’s 4 p.m. ET Trade Deadline.

Joc Pederson’s third-inning double and Orlando Arcia’s fourth-inning groundout provided necessary support for Muller, who allowed just four hits over five scoreless. The lefty was pulled despite throwing just 75 pitches.

But this early exit didn’t prove to be damaging like the one Muller experienced last week, when he was lifted after allowing one run and totaling 87 pitches over four innings. In that game, the Padres scored two runs in the fifth and held on for a 3-2 win.

This time, the Braves’ bullpen preserved the effort of Muller, who has a 1.90 ERA through his first five career starts.

Muller showed some moxie when he didn’t blink after a Marcus…

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