This weekend's series in Atlanta went like many series in Atlanta have gone before — the Mets got swept by the hated Braves. After stumbling into the All Star break with a series loss to the lowly Cubs at home, the perception around the Mets has quickly taken a nosedive. Losing a good starting pitcher to injury in Dillon Gee and several straight mediocre starts from the healthy pitchers will have that effect, but given the nature of Major League Baseball's new wild card format, the season is far from over.
Of particular concern this afternoon was Johan Santana's performance, which was his second straight poor outing. Santana labored through five innings of work, throwing 97 pitches and allowing six runs to score. Home plate "umpire" CB Bucknor certainly didn't do Santana any favors in the inning, but neither did Andres Torres, who turned what should have been a routine out in center field into a leadoff double in the inning. Everything fell apart pretty quickly from there, and three runs scored before Freddie Freeman hit a three-run home run against Santana to put the game away.
The Mets didn't do much of anything at the plate throughout the game. Andres Torres was the only player to drive in a run, and everyone else looked pretty bad against Ben Sheets, who had not pitched in a game in the big leagues in almost two years. To his credit, Sheets looked surprisingly sharp for a guy who had missed so much time.
The Mets are off tomorrow, and they will look to rebound against the surging, division-leading Washington Nationals on Tuesday. In a span of nine days, the Mets will play the Nationals six times. If there is to be any hope of a division title — a pipe dream at the outset of the season — the Mets will need to dominate the Nationals in those games.
Big winners: Daniel Murphy, +1.8% WPA
Big losers: Johan Santana, -22.5% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Martin Prado grounded into a double play int he third, +5.5% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Michael Bourn's run-scoring double in the fifth, -19.6% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: -22.1% WPA
Total batter WPA: -27.9% WPA
GWRBI!: Martin Prado