Maybe it is time to end the Great Daisuke Matsuzaka Experiment. In the third straight start, Matsuzaka was bombed as the Braves cruised to an easy Labor Day win over the Mets on Monday afternoon.
Things got ugly early for Dice-K. The first two batters against him in the first inning singled, and when Freddie Freeman followed with a double, the Braves had a quick 2-0 lead.
Matsuzaka got one of the runs back himself in the second inning, singling to drive in Juan Lagares to make it 2-1.
But in the bottom of the second, two singles made it 3-1. After a walk it was Freeman again, this time taking Matsuzaka deep for a two-run home run to make it a 6-1 game.
The Mets battled back in the fourth. Wilmer Flores, back in the lineup after suffering with a sprained ankle, walked. Anthony Recker singled. Zach Lutz, batting for Matsuzaka, doubled to score Flores and move Recker to third. He scored on a Daniel Murphy sacrifice fly to make it a 6-3 game.
Daisuke Matsuzaka labored (see what I did there?!) through three innings, allowing six runs on seven hits. He walked two and struck out three. His record now stands at 0-3 with a 10.95 ERA. Those should be Dice-K’s final numbers with the Mets.
Tim Byrdak made his return to the Mets in the fourth inning, pitching in his first major league game since undergoing shoulder surgery last August. He went 1.1 innings, allowing just a lone hit. He was relieved by Gonzalez Germen in the fifth, and it did not go well. He gave back those two runs the Mets scored in the fourth as the Braves ran the score to 8-3.
Pedro Felciano allowed two more runs in the sixth to make it 10-3. He left with the bases loaded and two outs, giving way to Vic Black, making his Mets debut. The player to be named later in the Marlon Byrd/John Buck trade rescued Feliciano with a fly ball to end the inning.
The Mets scored two runs in the seventh on a Lucas Duda single and an error to cut the lead to 10-5. Unfortunately, Black’s turn came up in the lineup and Terry Collins had to use a pinch hitter for him, so we only saw a glimpse of the man who some are predicting could end up being the closer for the Mets someday.
David Aardsma gave up three runs in the eighth as the Mets go down 13-5.