Beltran Takes Vazquez To Town Twice, Braves Lose Series Opener 6-4


Game No.25  Recap: Mets 6, Braves 4

It’s safe to say Carlos Beltran feels at home when he steps into the batter’s box at Turner Field.

Coming into the 2009 season, the New York (11-13) center fielder had tallied 10 home runs and 28 RBIs in the 37 career games played at the Braves home.

That trend only improved against Atlanta (11-14) starter Javier Vazquez (2-3) in tonight’s serier-opener.

Beltran connected for two two-run home runs off the Braves right-hander — once in the sixth inning and once in the seventh.

Vazquez had surrendered just one hit in the game up until that sixth inning where he was also tagged with another two-run homer off the bat of David Wright — a longball that put the Mets ahead 4-3 at the time. He lasted 6 2/3 innings, allowing six runs on seven hits while walking three and striking out eight on 110 pitches.

Beltran’s second shot, a soaring drive into the center field bleachers in the seventh, strengthened the New York lead to three runs.

Atlanta led for a majority of the game on the heels of a three-run second inning off starter John Maine (2-2) which was fueled by a Luis Castillo throwing error that allowed two runners to score and a Yunel Escobar (1-for-3) RBI single.

Maine tossed six innings of three-hit ball, allowing those three runs along six walks and striking out seven.

The Braves added a run in the eighth when Chipper Jones (1-3) crushed an 0-2 fastball from Mets reliever J.J. Putz for a solo home run — his third of the season. However, Atlanta couldn’t figure out closer Francisco Rodriguez in the ninth as he set down the side in order.

The Braves will take on the New York Mets in the series finale on Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. at Turner Field. Kenshin Kawakami is the scheduled starter for Atlanta.


–Alright, so Vazquez didn’t pitch as well as he has the past few games — quite evident by the three two-run bombs he allowed. However, he isn’t to blame for Beltran’s second longball in the seventh — the decisive two-run homer. He shouldn’t have even been on the mound that inning. That blame goes to Bobby Cox. When Vazquez finished the sixth, he had already accumulated 103 pitches. There was no reason for him to be out there, especially given that he had surrendered four runs the previous inning.

– Another shot at Bobby — stop using Peter Moylan so much. The Aussie has been in 14 of the Braves first 25 games of the season. There’s other arms down in the bullpen. And if you don’t have confidence in the other hurlers, I’m sure there are some down in AAA Gwinnett (i.e Medlen and Acosta) that would love to help you out.

– For the Braves offense, being walked six times and only scoring once off those free passes is totally inexcusable. Here the offense is struggling to get anything going and they can’t even take advantage of the other team’s gifts. Chipper’s shot in the eighth was the only forceful blow the bats produced tonight.

– Something is wrong with Jordan Schafer. And before you say “Yeah, he’s terrible,” hear me out. He has struck on nine times in the last three games — that’s plenty for concern. However, I’m thinking his wrist problem is worse than we were led to believe. The public outcry that giving the job in center was wrong has already started. If he’s hurt as bad as I think he is, why not sit him and get someone in there who can produce.

– Those “Let’s Go Mets” chants are killing me……Please remove all Mets fans from Turner Field.

– Alright, enough with the negativity. A tip of the cap to David Ross in the second. If he doesn’t barrel into Castillo at second (a gutsy and heads-up play), the Braves don’t bring home those two runs and Vazquez grounds into an inning-ending double play.