All the Braves needed was one lousy out. There were two outs in the 9th inning. Atlanta was up 7-4. Peter Moylan, one of the effective relievers in Atlanta's beleaguered bullpen, was on the mound to try and stop Atlanta's latest losing streak.
Moylan struck out Ruben Tejada and then got Kevin Plawecki swinging for the second out. Then Juan Lagares hit a ball in the gap that Cameron Maybin almost made a great play on, stretching out to just miss making a tremendous catch. Lagares was on at second with a double.
Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez then popped out of the dugout with his Captain Hook claw and removed Moylan from the game. Curtis Granderson, a left-handed hitter, was due up next. Moylan has struggled against lefty hitters, allowing two hits in three at bats against them this season. In his career, left-handers have hit .293 against Moylan.
But all he needed was one out. The Braves did not want to use Andrew McKirahan in the game and Ross Detwiler is hurt, so the team did not have another left-hander to go to in the situation. But Gonzalez removed Moylan for Ryan Kelly, a rookie right-handed pitcher.
Kelly then walked Granderson and then Daniel Murphy hit a three-run home run to tie the game at seven. Gonzalez's move backfired.
Couldn't Moylan have been given the chance to get one more out? Okay, if Granderson had done something, like hit a two-run home run, it still would have been 7-6 and then Gonzalez could have pulled Moylan. But he overmanaged the situation and it cost the Braves.
The Mets scored three more runs in the 10th inning to win the game and sweep the Braves, who now are tied with the Phillies for the worst record in baseball.
The record is 56-88, a .389 winning percentage. The Braves are 26.5 games out of first place and are 27 games back in the wildcard race.
There are 18 games left in the season. If the Braves go 9-9, they will finish 65-97. If they go 7-11, the Braves will finish 63-99. If they go 6-12, Atlanta will lose 100 games for the first time since 1988 when the Braves lost 106.
The Braves are 4-29 in their last 33 games and 3-24 in their last 27 games. They are 2-11 so far in September, 20-47 since July 1 and 31-63 since June 1. Since the team announced the contract extension for Gonzalez at the All-Star Break, the Braves are 14-41. After starting the season 42-42, the Braves have gone 14-46 (.233).
Here are the standings for the worst record in baseball:
1 – Atlanta (56-88) .389
1 – Philadelphia (56-88) .389
3 – Colorado (60-83) .420 - 4.5 GB
4 – Cincinnati (60-82) .423 – 5 GB
5 – Oakland (61-82) .427 – 5.5 GB
5 – Miami (61-82) .427 – 5.5 GB
7 – Milwaukee (62-81) .434 – 6.5 GB
8 – Detroit (65-77) .458 – 10 GB
9 – San Diego (67-77) .465 – 11 GB
10 – Chicago WS (67-74) .475 – 12.6 GB
Listen to “The Bill Shanks Show” from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WPLA Fox Sports 1670 AM in Macon and online at http://www.foxsports1670.com/. Follow Bill at twitter.com/BillShanks and email him at email@example.com.
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