WHAT IT MEANS: R.A. Dickey and Tim Hudson took a scoreless duel late into Saturday’s game, when the Braves finally got on the scoreboard courtesy of old nemesis Chipper Jones.
Jones’ two-out RBI single with runners on the corners in the eighth broke a tie and sliced the Braves’ magic number to clinch the wild card to eight games.
Jones is third all time in RBIs against the Mets with 153, trailing only Willie Stargell (182) and Mike Schmidt (162). It was Jones’ 39th go-ahead hit against the Mets, trailing only Stargell with 40, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Jason Heyward opened the bottom of the eighth with a walk and was bunted to second base by Jose Constanza, who was pinch-hitting for Hudson. After Michael Bourn’s groundout advanced Heyward to third, Martin Prado walked, bringing Jones to the plate.
Dan Uggla, the on-deck batter with Jones due up, had been 0-for-21 lifetime against Dickey.
Hudson limited the Mets to two hits and two walks in eight scoreless innings while striking out a season-high 10 in a 113-pitch effort.
Despite dropping to 8-13, it nonetheless was the 11th straight quality start by Dickey, the longest active streak in the majors. Dickey became the Mets' first 13-game loser since Tom Glavine in 2005. It was the 108th 1-0 loss in franchise history.
NEAR-MISSES: The teams traded threats in the seventh. Hudson struck out Ruben Tejada in the top half to strand two runners on base. With Jones, who doubled, eventually on third base with two out in the bottom half, Dickey intentionally walked Freddie Freeman. Alex Gonzalez then grounded into a fielder’s choice on the next pitch.
REYES TRACKER: Jose Reyes went 0-for-3 with a walk as his average dipped to .332. Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun, the runner-up in the National League, entered a night game at Cincinnati at .330.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Mets conclude their season series with Atlanta as Dillon Gee (12-6, 4.37 ERA) opposes Braves right-hander Brandon Beachy (7-2, 3.43). The Braves lead the season series 9-8.