You might not know it from the national media, but they did actually play baseball games last night outside of San Francisco; in Queens, they actually played a rather important one. The first-place New York Mets and second-place Atlanta Braves began a series to establish NL East supremacy last night, and the Braves drew first blood. Atlanta jumped on Mets starter Oliver Perez early, scoring six runs in the first three innings before cruising to a 7-3 victory. Perez had previously beaten Atlanta three times this season and had allowed just three runs in nearly 21 innings, but gave up six runs and 10 hits in five innings on Tuesday, throwing 109 pitches.
Jeff Francoeur led the Atlanta attack with four hits, including a three-run homer in the third inning and two doubles, and Braves starter Buddy Carlyle was effective, allowing three runs and six hits in five innings. David Newhan propelled the Mets to two runs in the fifth with a pinch hit RBI triple that scored Lastings Milledge and then came around to score himself on a Jose Reyes (pictured) groundout, but New York couldn’t muster anymore offense. The Braves bullpen came in and tossed four no-hit innings to close the game and inch Atlanta closer to New York in the standings. Still, the Mets lead the division by 3.5 games and no matter what happens, their city is infinitely better than crappy, sprawling Atlanta.