Not all Wright in Atlanta

New York Mets Notes and Quotes for Tuesday, May 24: David Wright gets tossed as the Mets fall again in Atlanta; Doug Mientkiewicz rips himself; Carlos Beltran and Kaz Matsui sit again; Scott Strickland declares his free agency...

Last Game: Braves 8, Mets 6. The Mets may have left town with their heads held high, despite losing two of three in the Subway Series to the Yankees, but any confidence might have dissipated when they ran into the brick wall that Turner Field represents for the Mets.

The Mets are no strangers to losses in Atlanta, but Monday night's was a little stranger than most.

David Wright was banged out on a rare interference call in the eighth inning, trying to break up a double play on Braves shortstop Rafael Furcal, and then the usually even-keeled Wright was thrown out of the game when he threw his helmet.

The play – which television replays showed as a good call on the part of second base umpire Jeff Nelson – would have tied the game at 7-7, but instead the Mets went into the ninth inning trailing 8-5.

David Wright
BREAKING UP IS HARD TO DO: David Wright was ruled too far out of the baseline on this play in the eighth inning.
"I felt it was a good, clean play," Wright – who was ejected for the first time since Class-A ball – told reporters. "You never see that play called, and in my opinion, that's a tough call to make in that situation. I wasn't trying to go out of my way. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, they don't make that call. But he made the call and you have to live with it."

That meant it was time for beleaguered Braves closer Dan Kolb, who promptly surrendered a solo home run to Chris Woodward and a two-out triple to Jose Reyes.

The Mets brought the go-ahead run to the plate in the person of Mike Cameron, who believed he'd walked on a 2-2 pitch from Kolb and trotted down to first base. After being brought back to home plate in baseball's version of the walk of shame, Cameron swung through a high Kolb fastball to end the game.

Kazuhisa Ishii (0-3) started for New York and didn't do a whole lot to instill confidence in him. Ishii allowed seven earned runs and seven hits in four innings of work, walking three and striking out none. His ERA stands at 5.59.

Notes, Quotes

Scott Strickland
NOT ENOUGH: Scott Strickland had a 5.40 ERA at Triple-A Norfolk.
I'M OUTTA HERE: Righthanded reliever Scott Strickland filed for free agency on Monday, finally giving up hope that he would ever be promoted to the major league roster.

Strickland, a 28-year-old reliever coming off of Tommy John surgery, originally could have opted for his free agency before the Mets headed north from Port St. Lucie, but he felt he owed it to the organization to try and work out his kinks in their minor league system.

Strickland pitched on rehab with Class-A St. Lucie and Triple-A Norfolk this year before again pushing back his deadline for promotion this month, giving the Mets 10 days to get their 40-man roster in order after they disabled catcher Ramon Castro and purchased the contract of Mike DiFelice from the Tides.

However, the added time didn't really make a difference. The Mets never seemed inclined to bring up Strickland, even though relievers Manny Aybar (26 hits and 11 earned runs allowed in 22.0 innings pitched) and Mike DeJean (21 hits allowed and 16 walks in 18.0 innings pitched) struggled at the big league level.

Strickland finished his service with Norfolk posting a 0-3 record and a 5.40 ERA, numbers that were bloated by his one-third of an inning on Sunday, when he allowed five earned runs.

Assistant GM Jim Duquette told MLB.com that the club favored a quartet of Tides relievers – Jose Santiago, Juan Padilla, Mike Matthews and Steve Colyer – over Strickland at this time.

STILL HURTING: Carlos Beltran (strained right quad) and Kaz Matsui (strained neck) were held out of Monday's lineup again, with Mike Cameron starting in center field and Miguel Cairo starting at second base.

Beltran is expected to miss as much as the entire Atlanta series, while Matsui is a candidate to return to the starting lineup at any time.

From the forgotten players department, Duquette told reporters that lefty Felix Heredia's circulation problem has not improved. Heredia may be done for the year, as the Mets don't appear inclined to activate him.

TOUGH TIMES: First baseman Doug Mientkiewicz launched into a self-deprecating rant after Monday's game, urging reporters to tell their copy desks to run his mugshot on the front page of the daily papers.

"Write 'I suck' under it," said Mientkiewicz, who is hitting .197 with six homers.

"The problem is me," Mientkiewicz continued. "I'm mentally fried. I've been bad before, but never this bad. This is inexcusable. I apologize to every Mets fan in America right now. I'm better than this. I know you guys write about how good defensively I am. But I can hit. I can hit."

Mientkiewicz said he has not eaten in two days and has not slept in a week.

On Deck

Tom Glavine (3-4, 5.44) gets another crack at the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday, trying to turn around a 1-7 record and a 9.36 ERA against his former teammates.

Glavine was knocked out after just 4-2/3 innings in his only start against Atlanta this year on Apr. 27, and afterward, he said that years of watching Glavine work his craft were probably helping Braves hitters more than he'd like to admit.

"There's no question they know what I'm trying to do," said Glavine, who walked three and struck out one. "But so does everybody else. It's not like I have a different plan for everybody else besides the Braves. For whatever reason, they've had my number."

Righthander Tim Hudson (4-3, 3.47) is on the bump for Atlanta, making his first career start against the Mets. First pitch is 7:35 p.m. ET.

Contact Inside Pitch's Bryan Hoch at metsinsidepitch@aol.com.


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