Did you like my little play on words there? I certainly did. The Mets left Philadelphia after losing to Cole Hamels and the Phillies on Sunday and went south to battle the Braves at Turner Field, a place where they have historically struggled. Dillon Gee took the mound, determined to get back on the track after a disappointing first start against the Nationals. After giving up a run in the bottom of the second inning to Atlanta, he was in lock down mode, and the guys behind him helped him out.
Gee went seven innings, giving up one run, one walk, four hits, and struck out five, while Jason Bayand company was helping him squash any potential scoring threats with some stellar defensive play. It was Bay’s first game back after missing Sunday’s finale with a jammed finger, and he didn’t show any signs of the injury affecting his play…he actually looked a little better than normal, to be honest.
Sometimes, playing with an injury helps a player focus better, which could be the case here for Bay. He showed that his swing wasn’t affected much by crushing a home run in the top of the ninth to give the Mets an extra insurance run. How did New York cruise ahead of Atlanta ever so easily? Well, they did so in a couple of steps.
Immediately following the RBI ground out by Jack Wilson in the bottom of the second, Kirk Nieuwenhuis walked to lead off the top of the third and eventually came around the score when Ruben Tejada grounded out to Wilson. Gee and Hanson kept both lineups at bay until the top of the 6th inning; Gee led off the inning with a strike out, but Tejada followed that with a double. After moving to third from a Murphy ground out, Hanson intentionally walked the red hot David Wright to get to Ike Davis. He continued to throw him a steady diet of breaking balls, and Davis finally lined it up enough to yank a three-run bomb to right field, giving the Mets a 4-1 lead, and they would never look back from there. Jon Rauch followed Gee with a one-hit eighth, and Tim Byrdak threw a perfect ninth, striking out two, securing the win for New York, keeping within a half-game of Washington at 7-3.
Josh Thole continued his hot streak with two more hits, and Captain Kirk continues to show that he’s able to handle Major League pitching. Ike Davis and Jason Bay are both still on the interstate (.139 and .194, respectively), but it was encouraging to see them drive the ball. Davis has now had success back-to-back games for the first time in 2012, and him hitting out a curve ball will send a message to the rest of the league that if the pitch is thrown enough, he will figure it out. As for Bay, it was great to see him drive the ball as well. Hopefully, both of these guys will continue producing, which would make the Mets lineup an intimidating one.
Probable Pitchers today:
Randall Delgado is looking for his second win of the year for the Braves, who still haven’t beaten the Mets this year, dropping the first four games of the 18 the two play against one another. The Mets will send Johan Santana to the hill at 7:10pm to try and beat Atlanta for the fifth straight time to open the season, something that New York hasn’t done since 1989.