Michael Bourn’s diving catch in the 8th inning was just one of several highlight-reel catches for the Braves outfield today
The New York Mets dropped the third and final game of their second half-opening three game trip to Atlanta by the score of 6-1. Johan Santana had a hiccup in the fifth inning which did him and the Mets in on the afternoon with a little help from umpire CB Bucknor who had a very inconsistent strike zone today.
Today’s game featured Santana squaring off with Ben Sheets who was making his first start in nearly two calendar years. Sheets last pitched on July 19, 2010 and threw 109 pitches while allowing a pair of runs in a 2-1 loss to the Red Sox.
Both pitchers fared very well through the first four innings as Santana and Sheets exchanged zeroes through the first hour of the ballgame. In the top of the fifth, Sheets got the Mets out 1-2-3 to send the game to the bottom of the fifth inning.
Santana-killer Matt Diaz was up first in the bottom of the inning and dumped a double over the head of Andres Torres in centerfield that should have been caught had Torres broken out instead of taking a first step in. Newly acquired Paul Janish walked and Sheets was unable to get the bunt down popped out in foul territory. Michael Bourn then blooped a double down the left field line to bring home Diaz and give the Braves a 1-0 lead.
Martin Prado hit a sacrifice fly to make the score 2-0, followed by back-to-back singled from Jason Heyward and Chipper Jones. Freddie Freeman launched a three run home run to right centerfield to put the Braves up by six before Santana got Brian McCann out swinging.
Sheets again set down the Mets in the sixth as Ramon Ramirez did for the Mets in the bottom of the inning. Kris Medlan came on for the Braves in the seventh and allowed a double by Scott Hairston followed two batters later by a Torres single to break the shutout and make the score 6-1.
Eric O’Flaherty came on after Medlan got two more outs in the eighth and retired his man, and Miguel Batista set the Braves down in order in the bottom of the inning. On to pitch the ninth for the Braves was Staten Island native Anthony Varvaro who allowed a two out single to Torres before polishing off the game.
Earning his first win since July 14, 2010 was Ben Sheets (1-0; 0.00 ERA) after throwing six scoreless innings while striking out five Mets. Meanwhile Santana takes his sixth loss (6-6; 3.59 ERA) after allowing six earned runs on eight hits over five shaky innings of work.
Game Ball: Goes to Dan Warthen, the offense did nothing, the pitching did nothing. So Dan Warthen gets the ball for sticking up for his pitcher and getting ejected by CB Bucknor who further solidifies himself as one of the worst umpires in all of Major League Baseball.
Up Next: The Mets head to our nation’s capital to take on first place Washington for a three game series beginning on Tuesday evening. Jon Niese (7-4; 3.73 ERA) squares off with Ross Detwiler (4-3; 3.43 ERA) with first pitch slated for 7:05 from Nationals Park.