Jose Reyes SS
Luis Castillo 2B
Carlos Beltran CF
Gary Sheffield LF
David Wright 3B
Fernando Tatis 1B
Ramon Castro C
Ryan Church RF
Jonathon Niese P
Why Jerry Manuel would opt to have Sheffield bat in the cleanup spot is beyond me. He’s batting just .178 in 45 at-bats. He’s had only one multi-hit game. Why not have Wright hit cleanup? He’s got his average up to .317, is 2-for-5 vs. Atlanta starter Jo-Jo Reyes and has seven hits in his last four games. It’s another head scratcher from Manuel.
Top 1: Chipper Jones hits a run-scoring RBI double off of Jonathon Niese. Garrett Anderson hits RBI single. Jones scores. 2-0 Braves. Niese is looking shaky.
Bottom 1: Jose Reyes wins first battle vs. Jo-Jo Reyes with a lead-off double. Castillo scores Reyes on a hit and advances to third on what should’ve been a single but is scored a triple. Mets 2-1. Beltran walks. Sheffield hits into a double play but scores Castillo. Score tied 2-2.
Top 2: Let’s see if Niese can settle down. So far, so good. He strikes out two to retire the side in order.
Bottom 2: Reyes also settles in. The Mets hit three well-struck balls into the cavernous outfield, but all are caught.
Top 3: Niese just gave up his second consecutive double to Chipper Jones. Anderson hits RBI single. 3-2 Braves. Matt Diaz scores Jones with a single. 4-2 Braves. Double-play ends inning. Niese obviously having trouble with the top of the order.
Bottom 3: Niese grounds out. Reyes walks. Castillo hits into double play.
Top 4: Niese has no trouble with the bottom of the Braves’ order as he sits them down 1-2-3.
Bottom 4: Beltran walks. Sheffield gets a hit. Wright gets a single, loading the bases. Braves’ manager Bobby Cox is taking Jo-Jo Reyes out, even though he has the lead. So long, Jo-Jo. Tatis just hit a grand slam! Mets 6-4. Castro walks. Church strikes out. Niese sacrifice bunts. Reyes pops up.
Top 5: Staked to a two-run lead, Niese needs to do better against the top of the order. Jones gets an RBI with a sacrifice fly. Mets 6-5. Anderson gets his third hit of the game. Jerry Manuel pulling Niese for Brian Stokes. No opportunity for a Niese win. 2 out, 1 on second base. Stokes throws one pinch and gets an out.
Bottom 5: Castillo gets a lead-off walk, but the Mets go in order after that. They really need to tack on runs in these situations.
Top 6: Stokes is pitching very well, sitting down the side in order.
Bottom 6: Tatis singles. Castro grounds into double play. Church strikes out. Again, no tack-on runs.
Top 7: Bobby Parnell relieves Stokes. Braves have bases loaded after Wright commits an error and the Mets intentionally walk Jones. Anderson ties the game, 6-6, with a deep fly ball to centerfield. Pop fly closes out the inning. Wright’s error came on a tough hop that had him jumping in the air. The ball went through is legs like wickets.
Bottom 7: Reyes stretches a double after Daniel Murphy lines out. Castillo hits a grounder and Reyes is thrown out at third. Castillo caught stealing second. Not being able to tack on runs is beginning to loom large.
Top 8: JJ Putz comes in and immediately gives up a lead-off double. Putz gives up another double, this one for an RBI, to Kelly Johnson. Braves 7-6. Putz strikes out two batters to end the inning.
Bottom 8: Sheffield ties it again, 7-7, with a solo homer. He finally comes through. Wright strikes out. Tatis has an infield hit. Castro strikes out. Inning over. Looks like K-Rod is pitching the ninth after going two innings last night.
Top 9: Yunel Escobar gets a lead-off double. Jones intentionally walked. Anderson flies out to right. Church throws out Escobar trying to take third for a double play. Jeff Francoeur strikes out. Hopefully, the Mets can pull out another walk-off win.
Bottom 9: Church singles. Alex Cora sacrifices. Reyes strikes out. Castillo strikes out. Time for another extra-innings game.
Top 10: Oh, boy. Sean Green is pitching. Green gets one out but walks another. He’s out of the game. Pedro Feliciano gets a ground ball from Johnson and then one from Brian McCann. Great job by him.
Bottom 10: Beltran hits lead-off single. Sheffield strikes out. Wright hit by pitch. Tatis hits into double play.
Top 11: Feliciano pitches again and retires the side after giving up a walk.
Bottom 11: Jeremy Reed flies out. Church grounds out. Omir Santos in the game. Santos flies out.
Top 12: Ken Takahashi relieves Feliciano and is the last player left on the roster. Martin Prado hits a homer. Braves 8-7.
Bottom 12: Reyes hits his third double of the game. Castillo sacrifices Reyes to third. One out. Beltran strikes out. Two out. Sheffield strikes out. Braves win.
The Mets’ inability to tack on runs cost them once again. They had Reyes on third with one out and could not bring him home. They had plenty of opportunities.
Now they head off on a 10-game road trip and face three teams who have lost only about a dozen games combined at home in the form of the San Francisco Giants, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox, which is really why they needed to win today.
John Maine faces Jonathan Sanchez Thursday night.