Good evening Mets enthusiasts! Welcome to a Friday night of New York Metropolitan baseball!
I'm Chris Mascaro and I'll be bringing you all of tonight's live game action, as the Mets (42-46), 7.5 games behind Philadelphia in the NL East (and seven behind San Fran in the wild card), take on the Braves (44-45), six games behind the Phillies, in the second game of a four-game set at Turner Field in Atlanta.
This season, the Mets are 17-26 on the road, including a 2-1 mark at Turner Field. Overall, they are 3-3 against the Braves.
Last night, the Mets dropped a 5-3 decision to the Braves despite six innings of three-run ball from Oliver Perez. Yunel Escobar and Garret Anderson each homered for the Braves. The Mets have lost seven of their last nine and they won't be receiving reinforcements anytime soon.
Said David Wright: "It's easy to look at the big picture and be disappointed. But you have to try and simplify things and worry about winning tomorrow."
Tonight, Mike Pelfrey (7-4, 4.47), pictured right with Kidsday reporters Madison Rudzinski, Max Ryder and Emily Dedoyard at Citi Field, takes the hill. Pelfrey earned a win in his last outing (on Sunday), as he allowed three runs in seven innings against Cincinnati. In July, he is 2-1 with a 3.57 ERA. Here are the Braves' numbers against Pelfrey, a collective .273 average, led by Brian McCann, who is 8-for-20 with three RBIs off the 6-7 righty. Pelfrey has six balks on the year, the most by any pitcher since 2001.
For the Braves, it'll be righty Jair Jurrjens (7-7, 2.91), who has won just two of his last eight starts. The Braves have averaged just 3.4 runs in his starts.
Said McCann to the AP: "He could easily have 12 or 13 wins, that's how good he has been pitching all season long. We just really haven't been scoring for him."
Jurrjens, seventh in the NL in ERA, helped himself out in his last start by going 2-for-3 (his first career multi-hit game) with an RBI and a run. He also pitched six innings of two-run ball on five hits and three walks with three K's. The 23-year old has struck out just 78 batters in 114 1/3 innings, but he's gone at least six innings in his last five starts. Here are the Mets' numbers against him, a combined .227 average, led by David Wright's 4-for-11 with a homer and three RBIs.
These two faced each other on May 12 at Citi Field, a 4-3 extra-inning win for the Mets, but neither earned a decision. Jurrjens allowed two runs in 7 2/3 innings, while Pelfrey gave up two runs in seven innings.
Finally, here are tonight's starting lineups:
1. Pagan, CF
2. Castillo, 2B
3. Wright, 3B
4. Sheffield, LF
5. Francoeur, RF
6. Murphy, 1B
7. Cora, SS
8. Santos, C
9. Pelfrey, RHP
*Tonight's Mets lineup has a total of 29 home runs on the season.
1. McLouth, CF
2. Prado, 2B
3. Jones, 3B
4. McCann, C
5. Anderson, LF (11-for-26 with three homers and four RBIs in his last seven home games)
6. Escobar, SS
7. Church, RF
8. Kotchman, 1B
9. Jurrjens, RHP
*Note: The Mets called up shortstop Angel Berroa yesterday to take the place of Argenis Reyes.
**The weather tonight in Atlanta should be great for baseball, with little chance of rain and temperatures in the high 70s.
***The Braves are retiring Greg Maddux's No. 31 in a ceremony before tonight's game.
Okay, that's all for now. But let's get the conversation going in the chat box above! And be sure to vote on the poll questions.
I'll be back after each half-inning with updates.
We're about 10 minutes from baseball on WPIX 11!
Top of the 1st: A 1-2-3 inning for Jurrjens, as Pagan grounded out to first, Castillo did the same to second and Wright flew out to right.
Bottom of the 1st: After McLouth popped out to Wright on the mound, Prado ripped his 20th double of the year to left-center. Then Chipper Jones walked, putting runners on first and second for McCann, who ripped a double off the wall in right to give the Braves a 2-0 lead.
It was McCann's 20th double and 38th and 39th RBIs of the year. He hit it on the ninth pitch of the at-bat.
Anderson struck out swinging, but then Escobar singled up the middle to score McCann and make it 3-0 Braves. It was Escobar's 46th RBI.
Church flew out to left for the third out.
Pelfrey threw 33 pitches in the inning.
Top of the 2nd: Sheffield led off the inning with a double to right-center (his ninth of the year), but then Francoeur popped out to short. Murphy walked to put runners on first and second for Cora, who grounded into a 6-6-3 double play to end the inning.
Bottom of the 2nd: A 1-2-3 inning for Pelfrey, as Kotchman lined out to center, Jurrjens grounded out to first and McLouth struck out swinging (Pelfrey's second of the game).
Top of the 3rd: A 1-2-3 inning for Jurrjens (his second of the game), as Santos flew out to center, Pelfrey grounded out to short and Pagan grounded back to the mound (nice stop by Jurrjens).
Bottom of the 3rd: On the 11th pitch of his at-bat, Prado lined a solo homer just over the wall in left-center to give the Braves a 4-0 lead.
Prado, who has two extra-base hits tonight, has five homers and 19 RBIs on the season. That was the first homer Pelfrey has allowed to a righthander this year.
Then Chipper Jones singled to left and McCann followed with a two-run blast to the first row in right to give the Braves a 6-0 lead. It was his ninth homer of the year and 40th and 41st RBIs. He's 2-for-2 with four RBIs already tonight.
Anderson popped out to shallow center, Escobar grounded out to second and Church grounded out to first to end the inning.
Top of the 4th: Castillo grounded out to short before Wright hit a double down the left-field line (his 25th of the year). But Sheffield grounded out to short (moving Wright to third) and Francoeur did the same for the third out.
Bottom of the 4th: A 1-2-3 inning for Pelfrey (surprisingly his second tonight), as Kotchman, Jurrjens and McLouth all grounded out to second.
Top of the 5th: A third 1-2-3 inning for Jurrjens, as Murphy flew out left, Cora grounded out to short and Santos flew out to right to end the inning.
Bottom of the 5th: Prado struck out looking (Pelfrey's third K) before Chipper doubled to right-center (his 16th of the year). Then McCann blooped a single to left (his third hit of the night — he's a triple shy of the cycle), putting runners on the corners for Anderson, who one-hopped a double off the wall in right to score Jones and give Atlanta a 7-0 lead.
Anderson has 15 doubles and 34 RBIs on the season.
That prompted Jerry Manuel to lift Pelfrey in favor of righty Tim Redding (1-3, 7.14). Escobar doubled to left on the first pitch Redding threw to score two and give the Braves a 9-0 lead.
On the play, Gary Sheffield came up limping. He grabbed his right hamstring, but walked off on his own power. He was replaced by Jeremy Reed.
Then Church singled to left to put runners on the corners for Kotchman, who singled to right to score Escobar and make it a 10-0 game. Jurrjens and McLouth struck out swinging to end the inning.
Pelfrey allowed nine runs on nine hits and a walk with three strikeouts and two homers allowed in 4 1/3 innings. He threw 104 pitches.
Top of the 6th: Berroa grounded out to third and Pagan flew out to right before Castillo walked (only the Mets' fourth baserunner). But Wright struck out swinging for the third out (the first K for Jurrjens).
Bottom of the 6th: Righty Elmer Dessens (0-0, 2.70) came on in relief of Redding, who allowed a run on three hits in 2/3 of an inning with two K's.
Dessens did a nice job with the 3-4-5 hitters, as he got Prado to pop to second, Jones to ground to short and McCann to ground to second.
Top of the 7th: Lefty Boone Logan (1-0, 2.57) came on in relief of Jurrjens, who allowed just two hits in six innings of work with two walks and one K. He threw just 85 pitches and lowered his season ERA to 2.77.
Logan threw a 1-2-3 inning, as Reed grounded out to first, Francoeur popped to second and Murphy struck out swinging.
Bottom of the 7th: Anderson struck out swinging before Escobar hit a ground-rule double to right-center (his 19th of the year). Church struck out swinging but Kotchman doubled down the right-field line (his 19th of the year) to score Escobar and give the Braves an 11-0 lead. It was Kotchman's 33rd RBI of the year.
Pinch-hitter Brooks Conrad flew out to left to end the inning.
Top of the 8th: Righty Luis Valdez (0-1, 9.00) came on in relief of Logan, who threw a hitless seventh. He got Tatis to ground out to third before Santos walked. But Berroa grounded into a force at second and Pagan grounded out to first to end the inning.
Bottom of the 8th: Righty Sean Green (1-2, 5.40) came on in relief of Dessens, who allowed a run on two hits with two K's in two innings.
Green threw a 1-2-3 inning, as McLouth flew out to center, Prado grounded out to third and pinch-hitter Matt Diaz grounded out to short.
Top of the 9th: Righty Kris Medlen (2-3, 5.67) came on in relief of Valdez, who pitched a scoreless eighth.
Medlen tossed a 1-2-3 inning, as Castillo grounded out to the pitcher, pinch-hitter Brian Schneider grounded out to first and Reed grounded to second to end it.
That's all for tonight's game folks, as the Mets lose for the eighth time in 10 games, 11-0.
Here are your three stars for tonight's game:
1. McCann: 3-for-4 with four RBIs and three runs
2. Escobar: 3-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs
3. Jones: 2-for-3 with a walk and three runs
And a bonus fourth star: Jurrjens, who earned his eighth win by allowing just two hits and two walks with one K in six innings of work. He threw 85 pitches and lowered his ERA to 2.77.
*The Mets scratched out just two hits and were shut out for the fourth time in the last nine games.
Okay, that's all for tonight's game. Thanks to all for coming out. As always, it was my honor and pleasure to bring everyone all of tonight's live game action.
We'll see ya'll back here tomorrow, as the Mets and Braves play the third game of this four-game set at 4 p.m.
We'll see everyone then. Goodnight!
(Newsday photo by Patrick Mullooly)