Back to back walk off wins would have been really nice, but alas it wasn’t meant to be. However, it wasn’t due to a lack of trying. The Mets lost a tough game to their division rival Atlanta Braves by a score of 8-7 in a 12 inning marathon. Despite the loss, it was a great game from two teams who refused to lose.
Jon Niese started the game and quickly got into trouble in the first and when all was said and done the Braves had a 2-0 lead before the Mets even came to bat. Niese clearly struggled throughout the game and was finished after just 4.2 innings pitched. He allowed 5 earned runs on 7 hits, walked 2 and struck out 5 batters.
It was going to be a long day for the bullpen as Jerry Manuel used every arm he had available. With a long west coast trip on the horizon and no day off on Thursday, the Mets were hoping to rest some of their relievers for the trip, but that plan was dashed when Niese got the hook in the fifth.
The Mets bullpen logged seven innings, with very solid efforts from Pedro Feliciano and Brian Stokes. Frankie Rodriguez, Bobby Parnell and Sean Green pitched well, and J.J. Putz was hit very hard, but not as hard as Ken Takahashi who served up the game winning homer to Martin Prada.
The Mets had plenty of chances as well as some great clutch moments, including a Fernando Tatis grand slam. Fernando’s slam was his first as a Met and put the Mets up 6-4. Tatis had a great day with three hits, and is currently, along with Carlos Beltran, they remain the hottest hitters on the Mets.
Gary Sheffield belted homerun number 501 to tie the game at 7-7 after the Braves had taken the lead in the top of the inning.
Jose Reyes had three more hits and now has raised his average to .286 in the last 4 games.
The Mets totaled 12 hits and 5 walks on the day.
This may not have had the happy ending most of us were expecting, but the Mets were never out of it and battled throughout the game. Were mistakes made? Of course there were mistakes, this is baseball.
The bottom line is that a battle tested and hungry Mets team, will roll into San Francisco for a big four-game series after a week where they learned so much about themselves and their mental makeup. I like the Mets’ chances during the long road trip and I would tell you to look for continued improvement and success.
As I wrote in last nights recap, this is a different Mets team with a lot of fight in them. I’m not going to back off that statement after a tough, hard-fought loss.
Fernando Tatis went 3-5 with a grand slam.
Lets Go Mets!