The Mets overcame some shoddy defense to come back and beat the Braves by a score of 9-5 thanks to a huge pinch hit two-run double by rookie sensation Dan Murphy.
The game started out with Jose Reyes hitting a leadoff first inning homerun to put the Mets up early, but it soon became clear this game was going to be a wild one.
Oliver Perez actually pitched a great game going six innings and allowing three earned runs on six hits. He was let down by some bad defensive plays by Jose Reyes and Ryan Church that led to most of the damage. David Wright also made some huge gaffes that allowed a run to score including an error that was ruled a hit that later came around to score. Perez walked three and struck out six and handed the bullpen a 5-4 lead before departing.
The bullpen was in trouble right from the start in the seventh inning. Nelson Figueroa started by putting two runners on and being replaced by Ricardo Rincon before even getting an out. A run scored to tie the game and that brought in Aaron Heilman with the winning run at third base. Heilman walks the first batter and then nearly blows the game when Omar Infante drove one down the left field line that was foul by a few inches. Heilman eventually retires Infante and then Pedro Feliciano came in to get the third out and end the inning.
Brian Stokes pitched the final two innings without incident allowing a solo hit and striking out two.
Jose Reyes had three hits and scored three runs while driving in two, and both David Wright and Carlos Delgado had a couple of hits with Wright driving in two. Nick Evans started in left field and stroked his second homer of the season, a bomb to dead center.
Despite the many positive story lines to this game, the star of this show was Dan Murphy, who continues to produce like a seasoned veteran and even prompted Keith Hernandez to say,
“It’s almost time to consider putting Murphy as the number three hitter and leaving him there for the next ten years.”
Since being called up from the minors on August 2nd, Murphy is hitting .374 with two homers and 16 RBI’s and he is 14-for-30 (.467) so far in September.
Jerry Manuel couldn’t contain his excitement and hinted even playing Murphy against lefthanded pitching.
“Murphy’s been huge for us all season. We’ve got to find a way to get him to the plate,” Manuel said. “You’ve got to manage to get him a shot. You know he’s good whether they throw a lefty or righty.”
For the Mets, it’s their third straight road win and their first win at Turner Field this season after losing their first six games in Atlanta this season.
The Mets are now back in first place thanks to the Marlins who mauled the Phillies 14-8. The Brewers also continued their slide opening up a 2 1/2 game game cushion for the Mets in the Wild Card race should they fall out of first again.
Get ready for some Mets baseball in October… Lets Go Mets!