WHAT IT MEANS: The Mets (70-72) officially were eliminated from first-place contention in the National League East. They now trail the Braves by 12½ games in the wild-card standings. The tragic number: eight.
New York Mets
THAT’S GRAND: Jason Bay briefly staked the Mets to a 4-3 lead with a first-inning grand slam off Braves left-hander Mike Minor. It was Bay’s second slam this season. The other came June 28 at Detroit, when Bay’s shot snapped a string of 18 unanswered slams by Mets opponents.
Bay has three homers in a six-day stretch for the first time in two seasons as a Met.
DEBUTANT: Right-hander Chris Schwinden surrendered five earned runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out four in five innings in his major league debut. He departed with his pitch count at 100, trailing 5-4.
The last Met to be tagged with a loss in his major league debut as a starting pitcher was Aaron Heilman on June 26, 2003 against Florida.
The Braves struck for three first-inning runs, including a two-run double by Freddie Freeman in which trail runner Dan Uggla scored when catcher Ronny Paulino could not hold a relay throw to the plate.
Schwinden is unlikely to get another start for the Mets this season because of the amount of innings he logged in the minors and an organizational belief he has run out of gas.
CHIP SHOT: Chipper Jones’ third-inning solo homer evened the score at 4 and tied him with Willie McCovey for third on the all-time homer list against the Mets at 48. Willie Stargell’s 60 homers against the Mets are the most by an opponent, followed by Mike Schmidt with 49.
SLIP-UP: Tim Byrdak inherited the bases loaded from Ryota Igarashi in the eighth and hit Michael Bourn with a pitch to force in a run. Byrdak rebounded by striking out Jones.
The Mets got back the run on Nick Evans’ sacrifice fly in the bottom half of the inning against Jonny Venters.
Daniel Herrera had tossed a pair of scoreless innings in relief of Schwinden.
Bobby Parnell, looking to get on track after blowing two saves in a three-appearance span, recorded the final two outs of the eighth with the Mets trailing by a run.
WHAT’S NEXT: Game 2 of the doubleheader features right-hander Dillon Gee (12-5, 4.48 ERA) opposing Atlanta right-hander Julio Teheran (0-1, 5.19).