Atlanta-The New York Mets signed Daisuke Matsuzaka a few weeks ago out of necessity. With Jenrry Mejia going down for the season with an injury, the Mets needed a veteran arm to eat innings and help the organization keep innings limits for its young starting pitchers. Matsuzaka, however, has failed to eat too many innings and has been tattooed in each of his previous two starts with the Mets. The trend continued today as the Atlanta Braves jumped all over Dice-K for six runs in only three innings as they cruised to a 13-5 victory over the Mets.
Matsuzaka (0-3, 10.95 ERA) was torched early and often by the Braves' hitters. Freddie Freeman opened the scoring in the bottom of the first with a two run single, bringing home Jordan Schafer and Justin Upton to give Atlanta an early 2-0 lead. The Mets were able to respond in the top of the second, when Matsuzaka got his first RBI in a Met uniform, singling home Juan Lagares to cut the lead to 2-1. Matsuzaka was unable to carry any of his momentum at the plate to the mound. Schafer added an RBI single in the bottom of the second to bring home Andrelton Simmons and make it a 3-1 lead. Freeman again delivered the big blow, hitting a three run homer off Dice-K to push the Atlanta lead out to 6-1. All told, Matsuzaka gave up six runs on seven hits in three innings as he picked up his third consecutive loss as a member of the Mets.
Paul Maholm (10-10, 4.41 ERA) didn't pitch great for Atlanta, but he pitched well enough given the run support he had. Maholm went five innings and allowed three runs on six hits and three walks while striking out four. The Braves gave him plenty of run support though as they added two more runs in the fifth and sixth innings to extend their lead to 10-3. The Mets tried to cut into the deficit in the seventh inning, when they scored two runs to cut the lead to 10-5 and had two men on for Omar Quintanilla. Quintanilla flew out to right fielder Jordan Schafer, however, to end the threat. Atlanta would add another three runs in the eighth to complete the scoring in their Labor Day blowout.
Player of the Game:
Today's Player of the Game is Atlanta Braves' first baseman Freddie Freeman. Freeman went 2-for-5 with a home run and five RBI's to pace the Atlanta offense in today's blowout win.
Post Game Notes:
- Tim Byrdak made a successful return to the major leagues in relief of Matsuzaka today. Byrdak pitched an inning and a third of scoreless relief.
- Vic Black also made his Mets' debut in today's game. Black recorded the final out of the sixth inning.
- Seven different Braves' hitters collected at least two hits as the Braves pounded out 17 hits in the game. Schafer collected four of the hits on his own and scored two runs.
- Josh Satin collected two hits for the Mets.
- Manager Terry Collins told reporters after the game that Dice-K will get at least one more start. The Mets signed Aaron Harang to a minor league deal yesterday, leading to speculation that Matsuzaka could be waived if he continues to struggle.
The Mets will look to snap their two game losing streak as they resume their series with the Braves tomorrow night at 7:05 pm. Carlos Torres (3-2, 2.77 ERA) and Kris Medlen (11-12, 3.58 ERA) will be the starting pitchers.
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