Braves 4 Mets 2
So much for playing the role of spoiler.
Well, now that I think about it … they are acting as spoilers for the Phillies, in that they are giving the Braves a chance to gain ground on the NL East leaders.
The Mets wasted another strong effort by rookie Dillon Gee, who went 7 strong innings, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits and 3 walks, striking out 3 and expending 95 pitches (60 for strikes). He has been impressive in all three of his big league starts, but before we get too excited and pencil him into the 2011 rotation, remember that both Pat Misch and Nelson Figueroa were similarly effective last September, and neither were on the Opening Day roster. Though, next year Gee won’t have to compete with immortal figures such as Oliver Perez and John Maine, so he may have a fair shot.
Strange fact: Gee has allowed only 13 hits in his 3 MLB starts, but 6 were for extra bases (one homerun and five doubles).
In one-third of an inning of relief to start the ninth inning, Bobby Parnell was awful, allowing 2 hits, including a solo homer by the reincarnation of Nate McLouth. I’m guessing this was some kind of a test, to see how he would handle a high-leverage, late-inning situation, since the Mets were only down by one; many managers would use their closer in such a spot. If it was a test, he failed — miserably. On the bright side, there are 13 more opportunities for another quiz.
On offense, Angel Pagan and Jose Reyes both went 2-for-4 from the top of the lineup, with Reyes hitting his 11th homer of the year and Pagan stealing his 35th base. However, the rest of the order managed only 3 hits against Tim Hudson and the Braves bullpen — one of which was a solo homer by Luis Hernandez, who did so on a broken foot. Hernandez fouled a pitch off his foot prior to sending a shot over the wall, and limped around the bases in excruciating pain.
David Wright stole his 19th base but went 0-for-3. He’s hitting .283 at the moment and his OBP has dropped to a startlingly low (for him) .358 — he should be at .390+. I’m faulting his big-swing approach, which has also resulted in an unimpressive 23 homers through exactly 600 plate appearances. At age 27, he should be entering his prime years, not trending downward. But we can’t put any blame on his mentor Howard Johnson (even if we gave HoJo credit for D-Wright’s good years). It’s not HoJo’s fault that Wright hasn’t had consistent protection hitting behind him this year. Hmm … is that really a plausible explanation?
With this loss, the Mets guaranteed that the Braves would have winning record vs. the Mets for the 2010 season. This has been the case every year since 1998, except for 2006.
Next Mets Game
The final game of this series starts at 1:10 PM on Sunday afternoon. R.A. Dickey faces Derek Lowe.