As the rubber game of the Mets/Braves series opened on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball, focus rested on Jose Reyes and Brian McCann as the two best players of their positions. While McCann contributed little in the Braves’ loss, Jose was right in the middle of the Mets’ victory. He came into the game leading the league in triples, hits, and multi-hit games, batting .340, and having stolen more bases by himself than the entire Braves roster has. Feeding off of the energy of the “Don’t trade Reyes” crew, he started the game with excitement.
After R.A. Dickey set down the Braves 1 2 3 in the top of the first, Reyes opened the bottom of the first against Tim Hudson with a single. He went to second on Justin Turner’s ground out, and came around on a double by Carlos Beltran, who leads the league in two-base hits. Beltran would eventually follow the lead of Reyes, and come home on a sacrifice fly by Angel Pagan after being moved to third on a Daniel Murphy single. Murphy would be stranded at first with Ronny Paulino striking out to end the inning.
The second inning was quiet for the Braves yet again, but Reyes and the Mets were looking to tack on to their 2-0 lead. First thing’s first, Jason Pridie, filling in for Jason Bay, singled, moving to second on a groundout by Tejada. Dickey struck out, bringing Jose Reyes back to plate. Reyes walked and Turner came up with a single: his 21st RBI in 21 games. A ball getting away from catcher Brian McCann allowed for Reyes to come home and Turner to move to 2nd, making it 4-0 Mets. Beltran struck out to end the inning after fouling a ball off of his right shin. Because of this contusion, Willie Harris was put in to bat 3rd and play left field, moving Pridie to right.
Moving ahead to the bottom of the 4th, Tejada singled with one out, bringing up Dickey. After Dickey made an out, Reyes came back. Stretching a single into a double and bringing Tejada home, he extended the Mets lead to 5. Those 5 runs would eventually become 6 in the 5th inning, when Tejada was walked with the bases loaded, but the Braves didn’t get on the board until the 7th. In the top of the 7th, Brian McCann finally struck, blasting a solo shot over the wall to cut the Mets lead to 6-1.
Keeping Dickey in until the 9th inning, Terry Collins and the Mets played smoothly against the Braves, and saw this rubber game as a win. In the top of the 9th, as Dickey had broken 100 pitches in the 8th, Manny Acosta came on to close it out. He had a man on 2nd and 3rd with one out before Collins decided to bring in K-Rod: a sure thing. Well, as the announcers stated before the start of the game, being a Mets fan is “not the easiest job in the world,” and by the time he had thrown 5 pitches, Frankie had given up 3 runs on a home run by Hernandez, cutting the Mets’ lead to a dangerous 6-4. R.A. Dickey didn’t look too happy as he, and every Mets fan, saw his win slipping away from him, seeming to mouth a few words for K-Rod. Frankie went on to strike out the side, and every Mets fan let out a deep sigh as the Mets took the series from the Braves.