Johan Santana started the game, but the biggest accomplishment came from another pitcher. Billy Wagner made his triumphant return to Major League Baseball a year after most thought he was done for his career. He was determined to come back and didn’t have a single setback in his recovery from Tommy John surgery.
With the Braves leading 3-1, Wagner came into the game in the eighth inning and retired the side in order. He struck out two, including Brian McCann, and got Chipper Jones to fly out. His fastballs were 94-95 mph and his slider looked good. He got a standing ovation as he left the field and doffed his cap in acknowledgement.
The rest of the game wasn’t as exciting. Santana was good, but not good enough as he allowed three runs including a home run to McCann. He allowed two doubles, one by Ryan Church, in the third inning and a sacrifice fly for the other two Brave runs. Santana only threw 77 pitches, but he was pulled in the seventh inning so Wagner could pitch. He got his ninth loss of the season, compared to his 13 wins, which he’s been stuck on for the past couple of starts.
The Mets offense was stagnant again. They scored one run in the third and another in the eighth. Luis Castillo had two more hits, raising his average to .312.
With the series against the Braves over, the Mets next take on the Phillies. Mike Pelfrey takes on Cole Hamels.