It took until the eighth inning, but the Braves bats finally woke up, scoring four runs off the Mets beleaguered bullpen en route to a 6-3 win.
Up until that eighth inning, lefty Jon Niese had kept the Braves in check, working in and out of trouble while pitching with a 3-1 lead.
The Braves started the scoring in the second inning, as Freddie Freeman led off the inning with a single. Alex Gonzalez followed with a one-out double that advanced Freeman to third. Joe Mather grounded to short and beat the throw to first,and it was enough to score Freeman and give the Braves a 1-0 lead.
Atlanta had a chance to put up a crooked number, but Derek Lowe's bunt wasn't close enough to the first base line, allowing Niese to get Gonzalez out at the plate. Jordan Schafer grounded out to end the inning.
The rest after the jump.
The Mets broke into the scoring column in the fourth inning with a little help from the third base umpire. Jose Reyes led off the inning by hitting a ball into the right center field gap off Derek Lowe. Schafer got the throw in to Dan Uggla, who threw a rocket to Chipper Jones at third. Replays showed that Reyes was out on the tag from Chipper but was called safe on the play.
Carlos Beltran singled to right two batters later, scoring Reyes and tying the game at 1. A walk to Jason Bay and back-to-back singles from Daniel Murphy and Angel Pagan scored Beltran and Bay, giving the Mets a 3-1 one lead.
In the top of the fifth inning, a scary play happened involving Schafer. Schafer turned to bunt a Jon Niese pitch, and the ball deflected off his bat into his face. He immediately fell to the ground in pain. Schafer left the game, and was replaced by Eric Hinske. Schafer was taken to the hospital for x-rays on the area between his lips and nose.
The Braves bats finally got going in the eighth inning, as Chipper Jones hit a towering shot into the club level of Citi Field off Niese to start the inning and cut the deficit to 3-2. Mets media on twitter said that they have never seen a ball hit to that area in the ballpark before. Typical Larry Wayne Jones in New York.
Niese got the next two outs, but was replaced by the elderly Jason Isringhausen, who struggled. He immediately walked Dan Uggla, and allowed Uggla to advance to second base by throwing a wild pitch. Reyes paid the Braves back for the missed call at third by whiffing on a grounder from Gonzalez. Uggla came around from second to score, tying the game at 3.
Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez came in to pinch the ninth, and was not sharp. Eric "Big Damage" Hinske lived up to his awesome nickname yet again, and hit a one-out home run to right field, just clearing the fence. The teenage Met fan who caught the ball immediately returned to his seat and started crying. There was no word whether he thought he had reached over the wall to grab the ball or he just realized how awful it is to be a Mets fan.
The Braves weren't done scoring after Hinske's homer gave them a 4-3 lead. Martin Prado doubled, and then the Mets decided to intentionally walk Brian McCann to get to the scalding hot Freddie Freeman. Freeman continued his torrid hitting at the plate, doubling into left field, scoring Prado and McCann to give Atlanta a 6-3 lead. For the game, Freeman went 3-5 with two doubles and two rbi's.
Craig Kimbrel slammed the door in the bottom of the ninth inning, earning his 17th save on the season. That 17th save gave Kimbrel the National League rookie record for saves before the all-star break.
Derek Lowe threw six innings of decent ball, giving up seven hits and three runs while striking out one and walking one.
Jonny Venters (4-0)
Francisco Rodriguez (1-2)
Craig Kimbrel (17)