Braves 7 Mets 1
So much for the split.
Things were looking bad right away, when starting pitcher Fernando Nieve left the game in the second inning with a pulled muscle in his leg trying to beat out an infield grounder — and was replaced by everyone’s favorite “long man” Tim Redding. Redding immediately served up a solo homer to Yunel Escobar to give the Braves a 1-0 lead, foreshadowing more dismal events to come.
Somehow, Redding worked through the rest of the second without allowing a run, and things were looking up for almost 15 minutes, because the Mets fought back to tie the game in the top of the third and Redding shut out the Braves in the bottom of the same. But Escobar beat Redding again in the fourth, this time with a broken-bat single to drive in the go-ahead run. Then in the fifth, the roof caved in as the Tomahawkers trounced Redding and Elmer Dessnes for another five runs to put the game away for good.
Not much good came from this game. It’s hard to fault Nieve for running hard and trying to beat out a hit — pitcher or no pitcher, I like to see the game played right. And with this team it’s a pleasure to see someone giving 100%. Unfortunately that “stunt” will likely put him on the DL — he was diagnosed with a strained quad and no word yet on how severe is the injury. What makes it worse is it provides an example of why someone (particularly a pitcher) shouldn’t go all out. But I don’t buy that — had he not run hard through the bag, maybe he would’ve turned his ankle hitting the bag, or been wonked on the head by a wild throw. Injuries happen — usually for no reason other than bad timing or dumb luck.
Luis Castillo went 2-for-3, the only Met with more than one hit. The Mets mustered six hits all afternoon, and David Wright drew the team’s lone walk.
Brian Stokes threw a scoreless inning of mopup relief, as did Bobby Parnell — though Parnell walked two batters in his 21-pitch stint. Redding, Dessens, and Pat Misch continue to prove the other 29 teams right for having no interest in their services. Where’s Nelson Figueroa?
In the three hole, Daniel Murphy went 0-for-4 with a strikeout and is now hitting .238 with a .307 OBP. He’s 3 for his last 22 with 6 Ks.
Brian Schneider had one of the Mets’ three hits in his second start in the past week. I believe he and Fernando Tatis are the only Mets to go over the wall this month.
Yunel Escobar went 3-for-4 with 4 RBI and a run scored.
The Phillies beat the Fish 5-0 behind the arm of undefeated JA Happ, sending the Mets 9 games back. The Phillies are now 13 games above .500; the Mets are 5 below. But hey, there’s still a lot of season left, and the Mets have the benefit of playing the Nationals over the next three days.
Next Mets Game
The Mets embark to Washington DC to play the Nationals in a three-game series that begins Monday night at 7:05 PM. Livan Hernandez pitches for his job against J.D. Martin (not to be confused with J.C. Martin). Martin is filling in for Scott Olsen, who is being placed on the DL with an elbow injury.