Final score in Atlanta: 3-2, Braves
With several runners left on and three doubles given up in the eighth, the Mets blew a 2-1 lead and lost their second straight game, dropping to 4-2 heading into the Home Opener against Philadelphia tomorrow at 1:10 PM.
Orlando Hernandez had a solid start and the Mets blew it for him. Hernandez was pulled out of the batters box for a pinch hitter in the 7th inning, and was subbed in by former Braves 1B Julio Franco.
The Mets scored two runs early on, with Castro (Lo Duca had a day off, as he will occasionally) and Green tattooing the ball on both sides of the plate.
When the Mets defense came out for the first time, El Duque left a fastball up and was crushed to right field by the leadoff hitter Kelly Johnson.
Jose Reyes was stranded on third twice in the game, as he first walked, stole second, and reached third on a balk. His next time up he hit the ball in the gap, and anytime the ball goes past the outfielders, Reyes will fly faster than a cheetah to third base for a triple.
Wright finally picked up a hit today, as he did yesterday also, but was struck out three straight times by John Smoltz on a cold day in Atlanta.
The Braves hit three doubles in the eighth inning, scoring 2 runs to jump ahead of the Mets, 3-2, as Heilman left too many pitches high.
Aaron Heilman has a history of negative effect when he pitches two consecutive innings. Today he caused all kinds of problems in the end, and another example is the NLCS, when he gave up the series-deciding home run to Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina.
Looking Ahead- Tomorrow, pitcher John Maine will start the Mets home opener. against the Phillies. He has been great, only allowing one hit in his first and only start in St. Louis on Wednesday.