Another Day, Another Loss For Last-Place Mets

With last place a certainty, the Mets had very little to play for, and it showed. Al Leiter once again struggled against the Braves, giving up 5 runs. Braves pitchers again asserted their dominance as they held the Mets for two runs as the Mets inched closer to the end of this dismal season, losing 5-2. Leiter's record fell to an unlucky 13-13.

Leiter walked in the first run of the game when he walked Javy Lopez with the bases-loaded in the first inning.

Mo Vaughn tied the game with a double, scoring Roger Cedeno, who had singled and stolen second.

The Braves broke the game open in the third inning. Gary Sheffield led off the inning with a double. Chipper Jones got his 100th r.b.i. of the season when he singled to score Sheffield. Andruw Jones singled and Darren Bragg, who had come in to run for Chipper, scored and made it 3-1. Vinny Castilla then turned on a Leiter fast ball, sending it over the left field fence and it was a 5-1 Braves game. Leiter, whose face has a lot of tics and grimaces even while pitching well, had a very pained look on his face now.

With the playoffs coming, it was almost a spring training start for Glavine as he was gone after two innings. Andy Pratt, another left-hander in the Tom Glavine mold, came in to pitch.

The Mets made it 5-2 when Marco Scutaro hit a one-out-bases-loaded single to score Ty Wigginton. With the bases still loaded, Mike Piazza then hit into a double play to end the inning.

Both sides brought in several new pitchers and offense was effectively muzzled.

Notes

-Rey Ordonez, who made an inflammatory comment about Mets fans in Saturday's New York Post did not play.
-Brady Clark went 3-3 for the Mets and Vaughn had two hits.
-John Smoltz pitched a perfect ninth inning for his 55th save of the year.
-Sunday's game will be Fan Appreciation Day. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10. Steve Trachsel (10-11, 3.42), who wants to even his record, will face Albie Lopez (1-4, 4.37).

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