Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mets Suffer Sweep at Hands of Braves

Sunday July 15, 2012
Final Score: New York Mets: 1 Atlanta Braves: 6
Mets Suffer Sweep at Hands of Braves to Start Second Half

The Mets start to an important stretch to start the second half of the season after the All-Star break did not get off to an aspiring start, as the Mets were swept in Atlanta against the rival Braves. The sweep was capped off with a 6-1 loss this afternoon.

Johan Santana was pitching well into the 5th inning, when he suffered a meltdown aided by the umpires.  After an RBI single by Michael Bourn knocked in the first run of the game, pitching coach Dan Warthen was ejected for arguing the strike zone with umpire C.B. Buckner when he came out for a mound visit.  The Braves would go on to score five more runs in the inning off Santana, including a three-run homerun by Freddie Freeman.  Santana was also chirping at Buckner throughout the inning, as he was not pleased with the strike zone being called.

Santana’s final line for the game was five innings pitched, eight hits, two walks, six earned runs and three strikeouts.

This was the second consecutive start in which Santana surrendered six plus earned runs, as he allowed seven runs and 13 hits in his last start against the Chicago Cubs.  This is the first time he has allowed that many runs in back-to-back starts since April of 2000, which were the third and fourth appearances of his major league career.

Santana has struggled since throwing his no-hitter on June 1st, as he is 3-4 with a 5.67 ERA in seven starts.

The Mets offense was unable to get anything going outside of a 7th inning RBI single by Andres Torres.  They were shut down by Braves starter Ben Sheets, who was making his first start in the majors in two seasons.

Sheets finished the game throwing six shutout innings, surrendering only two hits and one walk while striking out five. 

With the loss the Mets dropped to 6 ½ games behind the first place Nationals with their record falling to 46-43.  The Braves are second in the division with a record of 49-39.

Next up for the Mets is another important series against the Washington Nationals starting Tuesday after an off day Monday.  Jon Niese (7-4, 3.73 ERA) will take the mound against lefty Ross Detwiler (4-3, 3.43 ERA).  The Mets could possibly be welcoming Jason Bay back to the lineup Tuesday, as he had a productive afternoon at triple-A Buffalo Sunday afternoon.

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