Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/16/12

Johan Santana was routed Sunday while the New York Mets were shut down by Atlanta Braves starter Ben Sheets, who hadn't pitched in the majors in two years.

That's the way the Mets completed a lost weekend in Atlanta, where they were swept in three games to open the second half, pushing the feel-good vibes of the first half a little farther in the rearview mirror.

Not exactly the way the Mets looked to come out of the All-Star break, as the Braves finished off the sweep with Sunday's 6-1 win. It left the Mets 6 1/2 games back of the first-place Washington Nationals, the team New York faces starting Tuesday. The Mets also slipped 3 1/2 games back of the second-place Braves.

Along the way, frustration and maybe a little desperation began to seep out from different corners.

Pitching coach Dan Warthen got himself ejected after Santana gave up all six runs in the fifth inning, claiming a couple of missed third-strike calls ruined the inning.

Manager Terry Collins has continued to tout his minor league pitchers as possible solutions for the Mets, who opened the second half by learning Dillon Gee was likely out for the season after undergoing right shoulder surgery.

Collins told reporters this weekend that top pitching prospect Matt Harvey is pretty much auditioning for a rotation spot when he starts Monday for Class AAA Buffalo.

The Mets had been hesitant to bring up the 23-year-old righty too soon, but Collins said this weekend that if he's ready, he wants to see him.

More interestingly, Collins went out of his way to playfully ask reporters Sunday why they hadn't asked him about Class AA Binghamton prospect Zack Wheeler.

Wheeler, 22, had pitched a six-hit shutout Saturday to move to 9-4 with a 2.39 ERA. He is expected to move to Class AAA.

Collins wasn't pushing for Wheeler to come up anytime soon, according to reports, but he did make a point of putting him on the radar.

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