A shaky first inning by Johan Santana punctuated by a defensive betrayal courtesy of Luis Castillo (who else?) spoiled an 11-strikeout performance and goes into the books as a 4-1 loss, another in a long line of barely watchable Turner Field defeats. The Mets' deficit is now 7.5 games, which could balloon to 9.5 games by the end of play on Wednesday.
There was plenty to be discouraged about in the aftermath of this one. The offense continues to struggle, and tonight it extended beyond the usual RF-2B-1B sinkhole. David Wright went 0-for-4 on just nine pitches. Angel Pagan and Jose Reyes each went 1-for-5. Henry Blanco is hitting .225/.244/.225 since June 13 (41 plate appearances).
On the positive side, Carlos Beltran went 1-for-2 with a double and two walks and seems to be working his way back to Beltran-ness. His 24 pitches seen in four trips to the plate paint a stark contrast to Wright's impatience tonight.
Apart from the three runs he allowed in the first, Santana was actually pretty brilliant tonight. Chipper Jones added a solo home run in the seventh, but otherwise the Braves managed very little against the Mets' erstwhile ace. The eleven strikeouts were a season high for any Met and the second most for Santana as a Met, besting all but this 13-strikeout dismantling of the Marlins in April 2009, a game the Mets managed to lose 2-1 to Josh Johnson.
R.A. Dickey meets Derek Lowe Tuesday night.
Poem by Howard Megdal
Mets submit meekly with nary a peep
Hitting and fielding like they were asleep
Showing the dignity of Pee Wee Herman
My kingdom for a brand new General Sherman
SB Nation Coverage
* Traditional Recap
* Amazin' Avenue Gamethread
* Talking Chop Gamethread
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Carlos Beltran, +11.0% WPA, Chris Carter, +2.1% WPA
Big losers: Johan Santana, -18.0% WPA, David Wright, -12.5% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Beltran RBI double in fifth, +9.2% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Ankiel two-run single in first, -14.6% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: -17.5% WPA
Total batter WPA: -32.5% WPA
GWRBI!: Rick Ankiel
Game Thread Roll Call
Nice job by BobbyV_Incognito; his effort in the game thread embiggens us all.
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