Mets End Five Game Losing Streak with 11-7 Victory over Atlanta

Flushing, NY—-The second game of the three game weekend series between New York and Atlanta 0n Saturday night began after a one hour and two minute rain delay. The wait was well worthwhile for the Amazinns as they ended a five game losing streak with an 11-7 victory.

The Mets did not waste much time after the start of the contest to put numbers on the scoreboard. With one out in the first, Justin Turner blasted a solo home run into the rightfield seats. Daniel Murphy followed with a solid single to center. He scored on a David Wright double that reached the left-centerfield wall. The Mets scored the first two runs before Tommy Hanson threw his 11th pitch of the game.

The Braves batted around and scored five runs in the top of the third without hitting the baseball especially hard. Five timely singles, a base on balls and two ground ball outs that drove in runs did the damage against Mets starter Jonathon Niese. Mets catcher Josh Thole commented, “It was more misexecuted pitches than anything.”

Two of the base hits in the third extended hitting streaks. Braves rookies Freddie Freeman, the National League Rookie of the Month in July, extended his hitting streak to 20 consecutive games with an RBI single to center with no one out. The first sacker’s current mark is the MLB rookie high for 2011. If Freeman hits safely in the next three games, he will tie Alvin Dark, who hit safely in 23 straight games in 1948, for the Braves rookie record.

The next batter, Dan Uggla dribbled a ground ball down the third base line for an infield single. The hit extended his hitting streak to a career high of 27 games. Later in the contest, he hit his 24th homer of the season. The accomplishment of the duo is only the third time in the majors that teammates have had concurrent 20 or more game hitting streaks at the same time.

The Mets scored two additional runs in the bottom of the same inning to cut the deficit to a single run, 5-4. Angel Pagan walked and scored on a two-run homer by Jason Bay. The leftfielder, who has heard more than his share of jeers since joining the Mets, was cheered when the ball he hit entered the leftfield seats. After the contest, Mets skipper Terry Collins said, “I thought getting the two runs back was very good for us.”

A lead-off home run by Josh Thole tied the score at 5 in the fourth. Later in the inning, the Mets again took the lead, 7-5, as Turner hit his second homer of the contest, a two-run blast with Jose Reyes on base. Turner had 191 at bats without a home run before hitting his homer in the first. His two long balls marked his first multi-homer game in the majors.

The teams swung the bats very well as every position player in both starting lineups hit safely.

Each team scored several more runs, but the Mets advantage remained in effect. Niese, who hurled five innings, earned his 11th victory of 2011.

The rubber game of the series on Sunday afternoon will pit Dillon Gee (10-3) of the mets against Mike Minor (1-2).

Posted under Alvin Dark, Base On Balls, Consecutive Games, Daniel Murphy, First Sacker, Game Losing Streak, Game Weekend, Hitting Streaks, Jonathon Niese, Josh Thole, Minute Rain Delay, New York Mets, Rookie Record, Second Game, Single Run, Straight Games, Top Story

This post was written by Howard Goldin on August 7, 2011

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Snakes Continue To Bite Mets

New York – Last week at Chase Field in Phoenix Arizona the Diamondbacks handed the New York Mets a three-game sweep. That continued, in what would be a dismal 2-9 west coast trip for New York that had them looking for redemption at Citi Field Friday evening,

However, Mike Pelfrey continued to have his first inning struggles and Arizona picked up where they left off last week taking the opening game of a three- game weekend set 9-6. Another loss for the Mets that left them at 52-51, 7-1/2 games behind first pace Atlanta and in a fourth place tie with Florida in the NL East.

It is starting to get dismal at Citi Field.  And the Mets also have to wonder what has happened to Pelfrey who surrendered three runs in the first inning. The Mets would get even in their half of the first on the first of two home runs from David Wright. It was a three- run blast off winning pitcher Ian Kennedy (6-8).

As for Pelfrey (10-5) who failed to get the decision, the Mets have to hope their right hander can return to form if they have any chance of making the postseason. And once again the Diamondbacks had his number, 0-5 in his last seven starts against them. In his last start at Arizona on July 19th he threw 51 pitches in the first inning and was removed after getting four outs in the shortest outing of his career.

“Everybody else in the rotation has been throwing the ball great and I’ve kind of taken a step back from early in the year,” said Pelfrey. In his last six starts, he’s worked 25.1 innings, allowing 54 hits, 28 runs, 27 earned with 14 walks and 13 strikeouts.

“I definitely plan on getting this thing turned around and back on track so we can plan on winning some games,” he said.  Mets manager Jerry Manuel said adjustments will have to be made. There is the high pitch count, “still confident we have a young pitcher and don’t think it’s demoralizing,” said Manuel about his starter.

Wright drove in five runs and with his second home run in the third off Kennedy, 17th of the year with two on, gave the Mets a 5-4 lead. After retiring seven straight D-backs with one out in the sixth, Kennedy reached first on an error from shortstop Jose Reyes.

“A routine ground ball, I have to make that play,” said Reyes who extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a single in the first. Pelfrey after throwing 118 pitches had a chance to win. Enter Raul Valdes (2-3) who failed to retire the four batters he faced. The home run to center off the bat of Kelly Johnson gave Arizona a 6-5 lead.

Two more singles and on the 14th pitch thrown by Valdes, Miguel Montero hit a home run off the second deck in right field, a five-run Diamondbacks inning that helped his team snap a seven-game losing streak. “I’m swinging  at better pitches, I think,” said Montero about his fourth home run.

As to why the Diamondbacks have the Mets number, he said, “I honestly don’t know; it’s just baseball I guess.”  Montero has hit two home runs and driven in six in his last two games. Thursday evening he connected against the Phillies and has now hit a home run in consecutive games for the second time this year.

Manuel said it was the right situation for Valdes who warmed up in the pen four times before coming in. “It was a good match up in that situation,” said Manuel about the home run ball thrown to Johnson.

But the Mets still have two more games with the Diamondbacks and have to figure out how to take this series against the second worst team in the National League. If not the road trip next week against Atlanta and the surging Philadelphia Phillies could determine their season.

“Anytime one or two of their hitters gets hot they can give us trouble,” explained Manuel about his team troubles with Arizona.

Notes:  Before the game outfielder Jason Bay was laced on the 15-day disabled list from the minor concussion he sustained crashing into the outfield wall out in Los Angeles last Friday evening. The Mets recalled outfielder Jesus Felicano from Triple- A Buffalo.

e-mail Rich Mancuso: Ring786@aol.com

Posted under Chase Field, Citi, David Wright, Diamondbacks, Friday Evening, Game Sweep, Game Weekend, High Pitch, Home Runs, Mets New York, Mike Pelfrey, New York Mets, Nl East, Number 0, Phoenix Arizona, Pitches, Place Tie, Right Hander, Top Story, West Coast Trip, Young Pitcher

This post was written by Rich Mancuso on July 31, 2010