Minor victories in two Mets losses
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Saturday was about minor victories for the Mets and another Minor victory for the Braves.
With talk of being sent to the minors swirling around him, Ike Davis actually got a hit in the 10th inning during the resumption of Friday night's rain-suspended game against the Braves. That proved to be nothing but a moral boost for the embattled first baseman, however, as the Mets lost, 7-5.
Then, during Saturday night's regularly scheduled game, lefthanded starter Mike Minor dominated the Mets, striking out 10 and allowing three hits in 71/3 innings in the Braves' 6-0 win.
Though the Mets' offense was helpless against Minor, Dillon Gee was no better against the dangerous Atlanta lineup.
After allowing two harmless singles in his first 42/3 innings, Gee fell apart with two outs in the fifth. He allowed a single by Chris Johnson and a home run by Minor, who crushed an 88-mph fastball into the seats down the leftfield line to give the Braves a 2-0 lead. The home run and two RBIs that went with it were the first of Minor's four-year career.
The Braves followed with four more hits and three more runs in the inning before Gee finally got the powerful Evan Gattis to pop out. That ended Gee's night, as Rick Ankiel pinch hit (and struck out) for him in the bottom of the inning.
"He couldn't get the ball out of the middle of the plate," manager Terry Collins said. "For some reason, that third time through the lineup has gotten to him this year."
It was a stunning turn of events, even though Gee entered the game 2-5 with a 6.04 ERA. Building on his solid outing in Chicago on May 19, Gee retired the first eight batters he faced before Minor -- there's that name again -- singled up the middle and Andrelton Simmons lifted a bloop hit that fell between a closing Juan Lagares and Ruben Tejada in short center. But Gee struck out Jason Heyward to end the threat.
He sat down another six in a row after the two hits before the Braves did their damage.
"I think I just tried too hard," Gee said. "Overthrowing, started getting under the slider a little bit. I just lost it there."
Minor had no such meltdowns. Gattis misplayed Lucas Duda's pop single to left with two outs in the second to give the Mets their first hit off Minor, who struck out the side in order in the bottom of the first. Gattis first ran toward the warning track, then -- seeing that the ball would fall in front of him -- turned and tried in vain to adjust. Though the miscalculation cost Minor his early streak of perfection, he shrugged it off and struck out Anthony Recker.
Minor walked Gee, of all hitters, with one out in the third, and after Daniel Murphy flied out, Tejada dropped a perfect bunt and sped to first base, not even drawing a throw.
The play provided a redemption of sorts for Tejada, who popped out while attempting a sacrifice bunt during the resumed game. But the bunt hit was nothing more than a minor victory as David Wright followed with a groundout.
Ensconced in a horrific slump that has him on the verge of being sent to the minors, Davis lined Craig Kimbrel's 3-and-2 slider into center for a hit in the resumed game. Davis sat against Minor in the scheduled game but struck out as a pinch hitter in the ninth.
"I'm sure it felt good for him," Collins said of Davis' hit. "Off a tough pitcher, too. That guy's really, really good. Hopefully it's the start of something."
Even something minor.