Mets walk all over Braves for 11th straight win
NEW YORK -- Looking back on his club's first homestand, Mets manager Terry Collins admitted that he returned to Citi Field hoping for six, maybe seven victories. The Mets wound up with 10, completing their perfect run with a 6-3 win over the Braves on Thursday afternoon to tie a franchise-record 11-game winning streak.
Behind Bartolo Colon's fourth consecutive victory and Daniel Murphy's four RBIs, they matched their 1986 predecessors for the best 16-game start in Mets history, while improving their league-leading record to 13-3.
"That was one of our goals coming out of Spring Training: We had to change the mind-set not only in our fan base, but in our clubhouse," Collins said. "We are different. There are expectations. I think it says a huge message to our fans that what we said, we meant."
The Mets had some help in this one, as Braves pitchers walked eight batters -- all in the first five innings. Since starting the season 5-0, the Braves have gone 3-7.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Murphy's Law: Murphy found himself at the center of nearly every run on both sides of the game. In the first inning, Murphy gave the Mets their first lead with a three-run double off Julio Teheran. Three innings later, his decision to throw home instead of feed to second base on a tailor-made double-play ball led to a two-run Braves rally. And in the seventh, Murphy gave the Mets an insurance run with an RBI single off Luis Avilan. More >
Teheran's shaky command: Teheran walked three of the first four batters he faced and matched his career-high walk total (five) by the end of the third inning. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez was ready to remove his starter before Jace Peterson delivered a game-tying sacrifice fly in the fourth. But he waited to do so until Teheran's pitch count reached 102 with one out in the fifth, during which relievers Ian Thomas and Sugar Ray Marimon combined to walk three of the five batters they faced. More >
Bartolo being Bartolo: Again solid on the mound, Colon gave the Mets six innings of three-run ball to become the Majors' first four-game winner. But Colon's most remarkable contribution was his unassisted caught stealing of A.J. Pierzynski in the sixth. More >
Pierzynski's consistency: Pierzynski, who has served as Atlanta's starting catcher in five of the past eight games, notched his second consecutive multi-hit game. The 38-year-old veteran's one-out second-inning single put him in position to score all the way from first base on Andrelton Simmons' double to the right-center-field wall. More >
"We had chances. We tied it up and then we had more chances to get some more runs with guys on base. We hit some balls really hard that they made some nice plays on. But that's baseball. They're hot right now and they're getting all the breaks. When good times are riding that wave, you've got to find a way to stop it, and we weren't able to do it." -- Pierzynski
"It only bothered me to throw breaking pitches, secondary pitches. But I don't use those, so it didn't bother me at all." -- Colon, discussing a blister that formed on his right hand. Only five of his 91 pitches were breaking balls
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
When Teheran caught Wilmer Flores leaning too far off second base in the fourth inning, he notched his Major League-high 16th pickoff since the start of the 2013 season. No other right-handed pitcher entered Thursday with more than seven pickoffs during this span.
The Mets successfully challenged a call in the first inning, after first-base umpire Andy Fletcher ruled that Alberto Callaspo had beaten out a would-be double play at first. Following a brief review, umpires reversed the call.
The Mets were not so lucky an inning later, when the crew used replay to rule that catcher Anthony Recker illegally blocked home plate on a Simmons RBI double. That allowed Pierzynski to cross home with the Braves' first run on what home-plate umpire Jordan Baker originally ruled an inning-ending out at the plate. More >
In the seventh, umpires determined that Fletcher's call on the back end of a double play was incorrect. Replay showed that Michael Cuddyer was safe at first base, giving him a run-scoring fielder's choice.
Braves: Alex Wood will oppose his former Atlanta rotation mate Aaron Harang during Friday night's series opener (7:05 ET) in Philadelphia. Wood has allowed one earned run during three of his four career starts against the Phillies.
Mets: The Subway Series comes early this year, with three games scheduled between the Mets and Yankees this weekend in the Bronx. First up is a Friday night clash of right-handers Jacob deGrom and Michael Pineda in a 7:05 p.m. ET opener.
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