Mets 3 (48-40), Braves 0 (52-36)
WP: Santana (7-5)
LP: Lowe (9-8)
SV: Rodriguez (21)
Don't get me wrong, I wanted the Braves to win this game, extend the lead in the NL East to 6 games, and be in prime position going into the All-Star Break. But...Johan Santana was pitching for the Mets. Johan Santana, as I said yesterday, is still a damn good pitcher. He proved that today, shutting the Braves out through 7 strong innings. The Mets bullpen got the final 6 outs on only 21 pitches. Yeah, it was that kind of day for the Braves offense. The team had a total of 8 baserunners all game...Omar Infante, Melky Cabrera, and Matt Diaz each reached 3 times. Yeah...I'm happy to report Infante's OPS is now a respectable .762, making his All-Star selection just a slight bit bearable. Just a slight bit...Yunel Escobar and Martin Prado flat out sucked today. Escobar saw 10 pitches and popped up 4 times today, while Prado saw only 9 and proceeded to fly out, pop out, line out, and strike out. Way to work the count, guys. Prado's lead in the NL batting race is down to 1 point, and could be gone after Andre Ethier plays tonight for the Dodgers.
Derek Lowe pitched adequately for the Braves: 2 earned in 5 1/3 IP, with the second run being an absolute bomb of a blast by Ike Davis to dead center field. But it didn't matter with the way the offense was struggling against Santana. The bullpen was...shoddy. 6 baserunners and a run allowed in 2 2/3 innings by Peter Moylan, Kris Medlen, who was getting some work since he won't be pitching until next week, and Takashi Saito, who really doesn't look the same since his return from the DL. With the emergence of Jonny Venters this season, it wouldn't be the end of the world if Saito was shifted into more of a middle relief role than a setup role, but it would be prime if he was able to stay in that 8th inning role in front of Billy Wagner.
Speaking of Wagner, he was chosen for the All-Star game on Tuesday...but declined the invite due to his nagging ankle injury. Good man, Billy. On the All-Star game topic, Jason Heyward will be in Anaheim and take batting practice, but will not play in the game. Disappointing. He was replaced by Hong Chih Kuo of the Dodgers. Yeah, another middle reliever. Hilarious.
Futures game is tonight. Only 2 Braves in it are Mike Minor of the US team, and Julio Teheran of the World team. Game starts in about 45 minutes, so tune in and check out a whole bunch of prospects. Its always a good time.
Weekly Prospect Report *should* be up tonight, but don't freak if its not...late game in Danville tonight. Blegh. HOT or NOT will also be up tomorrow, and during the break, I've got a couple other fun little things lined up to kill some time. I will be making another excursion to Atlantic City on Thursday into Friday, so there won't be a game recap for the first game back...but hell, I will get something going Thursday morning.