New York, New York

Friday, July 9, 2010

A pretty quick and impromptu trip to New York for a Mets game. Around 2:30 we finally decided to grab up a couple seats and go to the game that night against the Braves at CitiField. Headed out around 3, with just enough time to get parked and get to the stadium - and we were tied up for 45 minutes in traffic around Lenox, PA! Finally got to Harrison and parked, took the trains to Citi, and arrived there around the bottom of the first inning. Good seats in the Big Apple seating in center field - would sit there again that's for sure! Disappointing loss for the Mets though. Trains back to Harrison. Stopped at the Jefferson Diner in Lake Hopatcong, NJ for a late night bite to eat before continuing home. Arrived home around 3:30AM.

NEW YORK -- With two swings of the bat, Melky Cabrera and Omar Infante ensured that the Braves will have sole possession of first place in the National League East heading into the All-Star break.

A sweep of the Braves (51-35) would have put the Mets (47-39) in a tie atop the division at the end of the first half, but Cabrera and Infante launched back-to-back solo home runs off starter R.A. Dickey (6-2, 2.77 ERA) in the seventh inning, handing the Mets a 4-2 loss at Citi Field.

"I really feel like I threw the ball well up until the last three pitches of the game," Dickey said. "It felt like [I] got punched in the stomach, because I feel like I gave us a chance to win for a long time there, and it was unfortunate. With two outs, every run was scored."

The Braves got on the board in the first inning when Jose Reyes booted a ground ball off the bat of Troy Glaus, allowing Cabrera to score, and Glaus singled in Infante in the fifth after Dickey had retired the first two batters of the inning.

"We had a problem closing out innings," manager Jerry Manuel said. "That's what good teams do -- they continue to try to score with two outs."

The Mets' best chance to add runs came when Ike Davis doubled to start the sixth inning and Jason Bay walked to put runners on first and second with no outs.

Manuel asked Josh Thole for a sacrifice bunt, but the Braves put on the wheel play, and Infante, crashing from his position at third, was able to field the bunt cleanly and get the lead runner at third. Thole said that he should have been more aware that a play was on, and try to pull back and slash instead. Outs by Jeff Francoeur and pinch-hitter Jesus Feliciano ended the inning.

"We just weren't able to get the big blow, a ball in the gap or a home run," Francoeur said.

Tommy Hanson (8-5, 4.13 ERA) gave the Braves 5 2/3 innings of two-run baseball before handing the game to the Braves bullpen, as four relievers kept the Mets from scoring before closer Billy Wagner recorded his 20th save of the season.

"It's not a fun day, from start to finish. They have an incredible staff, starting with their starters," David Wright said. "Hanson seems to throw the ball really well against us time and time again. And usually the saying is, you try to get to the bullpen, [but] you can't necessarily do that with these guys, because they have some power arms coming in and they have some different looks."

Now the Mets will hope to take the remainder of the series and close the gap in the division to two games with Mike Pelfrey and Johan Santana's turns in the rotation coming up.

Reyes will continue to bat only right-handed while he nurses a right oblique injury that has limited his ability to swing from the left. He is feeling more comfortable the more at-bats he gets against righties, and he lined an RBI double to left field off Hanson in the fifth inning, but he is one of a number of Mets who could use the All-Star break to heal.

"It's not the best of situations. We have a switch-hitter that's hitting right-handed against everybody, so that's not ideal," Wright said. "Then there are some guys banged up, and some guys scuffling, and some guys are looking forward to the All-Star break, but we can't get complacent and start playing sloppy baseball."

The Mets struggled to drive in runners all night. Dickey provided the Mets' most consistent offensive threat, scoring the team's only runs after singling in the third and fifth innings.

The knuckleballer kept his team in the game and was one out away from a spotless seventh before Cabrera broke the tie with a home run off the Subway sign in right field and Infante put an exclamation point on a 4-for-5 performance with a homer that hit off the top of the wall in left field before bouncing into the stands.

"Dickey was tough. I don't think we hit a ball hard until we hit the home runs," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "He's legit. He knows where the fastball is going every time. It's in or out. It's never down the middle."

The loss was Dickey's second in three outings, sandwiching a no-decision after seven shutout innings in Washington, after he'd reeled off six wins in six starts from May 25 to June 23.

Total Mileage: 332 Miles

Total Miles Travelled:
132,256 Miles!

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Page Last Updated: July 10, 2010