Sunday’s game against the Braves started out as a pitchers duel — Johan Santana vs. Ben Sheets, making his start in two years. Then things just went to hell.
The game was scoreless until the fifth. Matt Diaz led off the inning with a single. Paul Janish walked and after Sheets popped out trying to sacrifice, Michael Bourn doubled to score Diaz and move Janish to third. He would score on a sacrifice fly that gave the Braves a 2-0 lead and also moved Bourn to third. He came around when Jason Heyward singled to make it 3-0. Chipper Jones singled and then Freddie Freeman deposited a Santana offering into the seats in right field for a three-run homer and a 6-0 lead.
There were two non-strike calls early in the inning that would have changed the entire complexion of the frame had they been called as strikes. The balls were very close, but home plate umpire CB Bucknor had called those pitches strikes earlier in the game. Just like Saturday, it was a very inconsistent strike zone. Dan Warthen was ejected for arguing the calls.
Santana was done after five. It was the first time since his rookie season that he let up six or more runs in back-to-back starts. His record is now even at 6-6.
Sheets, on the other hand, pitched six innings of shutout ball in his return to the big leagues.
The Mets finally got on the board in the seventh. Andres Torres singled home Scott Hairston, who had doubled. Torres was the only bright spot of this lost weekend — he went six-for-10.
The Mets get swept out of Atlanta 6-1. They are now six and a half games behind the Nationals heading into a three-game series in D.C.