Saturday, July 14, 2012

Mets Disappoint in Opener of Important Stretch

Friday, July 13th 2012
Final Score: New York Mets: 5 Atlanta Braves: 7

Mets Disappoint in Opener of Important Stretch

The Mets started a stretch of games that could determine the outcome of their season on a loss, falling to the Atlanta Braves 7-5.  This series against the Braves starts a stretch of four series in which the Mets will play teams directly connected to their own playoff hopes, heading to Washington following this trip to Atlanta and finishing it up in Queens against the Los Angeles Dodgers and Nationals again.

“The next month will determine a lot,” said Mets manager Terry Collins.  “We’ve got Washington three times, I think.  We’ve got the Braves twice. We’ve got the Dodgers.  We go on the West Coast swing.  You know what that can mean.  You’re talking about Arizona, who is playing better.  The Giants, who are fighting.  You’ve got to go play San Diego in their place.  Even though they’re not playing the way they want to, certainly, they can always be tough out there, and that’s at the end of an 11-day road trip.  That’s a tough trip.  We’re going to know how we’re standing when we get to August 1st, if we’re still in the dogfight.”

Collins will have plenty of tough decisions to make leading up to and during that time, and the first one was made tonight.  Collins was persistent in saying that he would not hesitate using lefty call-up Josh Edgin in a pressure situation and he kept his word.

Edgin came in after Miguel Batista, who walked four batters in 1.1 innings of work, made a mess of things with the bases loaded and retired the Braves to keep the Mets deficit at 5-4.  He came back for the next inning and was successful at the start, but could not finish the inning.

After retiring the first two batters of the inning, Edgin served up a homerun to Chipper Jones, which was followed by a Freddie Freeman double.  Collins had seen enough and pulled Edgin. 

Edgin was charged with two runs after Ramon Ramirez came in and surrendered a single which knocked in Freeman.

Another tough decision Collins will have to make is with the starting rotation because of Dillon Gee’s injury.  The decision was not made any easier after Chris Young’s performance tonight.

Young had his shortest outing of the season, surrendering five earned runs in three innings.  It was a rough night for Young, who surrendered three walks and six hits in his short outing only striking out two Braves. 

The poor performance could have been because of a lack of readiness, as Young was the third person in line for this start. Johan Santana was originally named but his ankle would not allow him to go.  Next in line Gee was diagnosed with a blood clot in his arm, rendering him unavailable to make the start.

Some positives for the Mets was that Andres Torres was able to return.  It was his first action since July 4th because of discomfort in his back.

Ruben Tejada, David Wright and Scott Hairston were all able to get two hits for the Mets, who were just unable to keep the Braves in check when needed.

Next up for the Mets and Braves is an afternoon game Saturday on Fox Saturday Baseball game of the week at 4:05 P.M. ET.  R.A. Dickey (12-1, 2.40 ERA) will make his first start of the second half, being opposed by Braves starter Tommy Hanson (10-5, 3.71 ERA).

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