The Mets (37-47) lost to the Braves (46-38) by a score of 5-4 on Tuesday night in Atlanta.
Daisuke Matsuzaka got the start for the Mets and was ineffective, giving up 5 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks in 5 innings, while striking out 5.
Dice-K allowed the Braves to get on the board first in the bottom of the 2nd. After getting two outs, Matsuzaka stumbled and Christian Bethancourt ended up making him pay by lacing a base hit into center with a runner on 2nd to put Atlanta up 1-0.
The Mets answered back in the top of the 3rd on the strength of Curtis Granderson‘s 2-run shot to right-center; his 2nd homer in the past two games. However, Atlanta tied it up in the bottom of the inning as Mets nemesis Freddie Freeman doubled in a run with two outs.
The Braves made some more 2-out noise against Matsuzaka in the bottom of the 4th inning. With Chris Johnson on 2nd, Braves starter Mike Minor hit a single up the middle to put Atlanta up 3-2. After BJ Upton singled and stole 2nd, Andrelton Simmons knocked one into left field to bring home two more runs and make it 5-2 Braves.
The Mets got two of those runs back in the top of the 5th when Ruben Tejada walked and Daniel Murphy went deep to make it 5-4 Atlanta, but that would be all they could muster. Both bullpens were very effective and before long, the Braves had gotten the ball to Craig Kimbrel. Game over.
Dice-K pitched pretty poorly in this game, and is in jeopardy of losing his spot in the rotation once Dillon Gee returns.
The bullpen did a nice job tonight, but the bats decided to call it a game after five innings, so there really wasn’t much the relievers could do to save the day.
However, scoring four runs will usually give the Mets a very solid shot at winning a ballgame. It’s nice to see the hitters going yard a bit more often lately, and Granderson seems to have regained his stroke after a bit of a skid in Pittsburgh. Again, Dice-K didn’t have it tonight, but it wasn’t the worst loss. It pales in comparison to Monday night’s debacle…
Still, this team simply needs to finish more games on top, any way they can. A close loss is still a loss in the standings, and if the Mets don’t want to be playing meaningless baseball from August onwards, they need to start pulling out some more victories.
Maybe we just have a case of the Turner Fields. Hopefully we can salvage the final game tomorrow.
(Photo Credits: John Bazemore, Associated Press & Daniel Shirey/Getty)