Saturday, July 14, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Braves 8, Mets 7
By Adam Rubin
WHAT IT MEANS: Bob Geren, managing after Terry Collins' ejection, asked Bobby Parnell to convert a five-out save, which included inheriting two runners in the eighth.
Parnell, working with a two-run cushion, allowed both to score, on RBI singles by Michael Bourn and Martin Prado. He then surrendered an RBI single to Jason Heyward past a diving Ronny Cedeņo at shortstop as the Braves rallied for an 8-7 win with a three-run eighth.
Geren had removed Ruben Tejada at shortstop for Cedeņo on the double-switch on which Parnell was inserted.
Parnell suffered his first blown save in three chances in Frank Francisco's absence with an oblique injury that recently had a setback.
The last five-plus-out save by a Met remains by Francisco Rodriguez against the Phillies on Aug. 7, 2010.
The Mets fell to 46-42.
MEN IN BLUE: A reversed call in the fifth inning opened the door for the Braves to take a 5-3 lead.
Left fielder Jordany Valdespin initially was ruled to have caught a fifth-inning fly ball off the bat of Heyward. Runner Martin Prado, who had believed the ball bounced and proceeded toward second base, was doubled off first to end the inning.
However, after huddling, the umpires reversed the call -- correctly, since the ball actually had short-hopped the sliding Valdespin. Not wanting to penalize Prado for accurately seeing the ball drop, even though he was tagged out, Prado was placed on second base, while Heyward was awarded first base.
After Collins argued, and was ejected for the second time this season, Dickey retired Chipper Jones on a groundball for the second out as both runners advanced. Freddie Freeman followed with a tiebreaking two-run double to right-center.
Dickey, who departed for a pinch hitter the following half-inning, has now allowed five earned runs apiece in three of his past four starts. His lone two outings this season in which he failed to complete six innings have come at Turner Field.
Collins’ other ejection this season came April 11 against Washington, by Larry Vanover while disputing the strike zone.
Valdespin actually was in the middle of two disputed calls in the fifth. Leading off the top half of that inning, he incorrectly was ruled out by first base ump C.B. Bucknor. On a bunt play, Valdespin actually had beaten right-hander Tommy Hanson’s throw to first.
CHARMED: Dickey departed trailing 5-3, but ended up in a position to win a half-inning later. Justin Turner, who pinch hit for Dickey, as well as Tejada and Valdespin delivered RBI singles as the Mets took a 6-5 lead in the sixth. Tejada added another run-scoring single in the eighth for a two-run cushion.
The eighth-inning comeback instead resulted in a no-decision.
Since losing in rainy Atlanta on April 18, Dickey nonetheless has won 10 straight decisions, trailing only a streak of 16 winning decisions by Tom Seaver that spanned the 1969 and ’70 seasons, and a 14-decision winning streak by Dwight Gooden in 1985.
Dickey has failed to complete six innings only twice this season -- both times at Turner Field.
Knuckleball predecessor Phil Niekro attended Saturday's game.
INSIDE EDGE: Josh Edgin made his second major league appearance, and had resounding success while protecting a 6-5 lead. The rookie left-hander struck out three in the frame. The lone batter who reached, Matt Diaz, came on a semi-intentional walk. In two appearances, Edgin has now struck out five of the six lefty hitters he has faced. The other, Freeman, doubled Friday.
WHAT’S NEXT: Johan Santana’s first start of the second half, delayed to rest a cranky right ankle, is on tap as the Mets try to avoid the sweep. Santana opposes Ben Sheets, who is making his first major league start in two years, in Sunday's 1:35 p.m. finale. Shortstop Paul Janish, acquired from Reds during Saturday’s game for right-hander Todd Redmond, is likely to make his Braves debut.