It seems fitting that if the Mets had to open the second half of the season in Atlanta, they’d do it on Friday the 13th.
- The lights went out in Atlanta in the top of the second inning, though to those of us at home it seemed like SNY was just in a hurry to get to the commercial break. The delay lasted less than 20 minutes, but it probably would have been better if the lights didn’t come back on.
- When Atlanta’s Jack Wilson slipped while going after a ball, he dislocated a finger and had to leave the game. This forced Martin Prado to play shortstop for the first time in four years, because Atlanta never replaced Andrelton Simmons on the active roster after he broke a finger the day before the All-Star Break.
- Johan Santana was originally going to get the starting nod, until Reed Johnson stepped on his ankle last week. Then the Mets were going to turn to Dillon Gee, but he’s probably done for the season after having surgery to repair arterial damage in his right shoulder. So Chris Young ended up starting the game, and he just didn’t have it.
Despite allowing two runs in the first, Young left the bases loaded and it seemed like the Mets might get a reprieve. It wasn’t a long one. In the third inning, noted Met killer David Ross helped bring Young’s evening to an early end with a three-run homer. Ross was only playing because the Braves’ regular catcher, Brian McCann, was away on paternity leave. (Unlike a certain other Braves’ star, at least he didn’t name his son to taunt Mets fans.)
Although Young and five Mets relievers combined to walk 11 Atlanta Braves and give up 10 hits, I just can’t lay the Friday the 13th loss solely on the pitching staff.
The Mets rallied to score four runs in the fourth inning off of Tim Hudson. Now down by one in the top of the fifth inning, they loaded the bases with no one out and drove Hudson from the game. It was a perfect chance to tie the score and go ahead. So what happened? Scott Hairston and Kirk Nieuwenhuis struck out, and Josh Thole grounded out, and that was the ballgame – you could have turned it off there.
If you did, you missed the major league debut of left-handed reliever Josh Edgin. When asked before the game if he planned to use the rookie pitcher in high-pressure situations , Terry Collins responded:
“Damn right. That’s why he’s here,” Collins said about throwing Edgin into the fire. “Guess what? It’s the middle of July. It’s fire time.”
Collins lived up to his promise. The newest Met came on in relief of Miguel Batista in the bottom of the fifth after the 41-year-old poet walked the bases loaded. Edgin struck out pinch-hitter Juan Francisco and All-Star Michael Bourn to escape the jam. Collins stayed with him for another inning, and Edgin became the latest Mets pitcher to give up a home run to Chipper Jones – would you believe it was only the 49th of Chipper’s career against the Mets? Still, Edgin’s debut was one of the few bright spots for the Mets.
Later today, the Mets will turn to R.A. Dickey, who’s trying for his 13th win of the season as the Mets aim to even up the series.
Let’s go Mets!