- Last Updated: 7:58 AM, July 14, 2012
- Posted: 2:12 AM, July 14, 2012
ATLANTA — Instead of flipping the switch and getting a bright start to their second half, the Mets were left dancing in the dark last night.
There wasn’t much for the Mets to like, whether it was Chris Young’s sluggish performance on eight days’ rest or the 10 runners they left on base. In a wacky game that included a 16-minute delay after the lights went out in the second inning, the Mets stumbled and lost 7-5 to the Braves before 37,020 at Turner Field.
Before the game, manager Terry Collins said the next three weeks would be telling for the Mets, with games against the Braves, Nationals and Dodgers before heading West for the longest road trip of the season. Suddenly, the rotation seems to be a concern, with Dillon Gee likely done for the season and the Mets having received clunker performances from the starting pitcher in three of their last four games.
“When we pitch we have a chance to win,” Collins said. “And when we don’t pitch it’s tough for us because we don’t have a lot of power.”
Young (2-3) had his worst performance of the season, allowing five earned runs on six hits and three walks over three innings.
“I needed to do a better job limiting the damage and if I had done so I think we could have won the game,” Young said. “But I wasn’t able to and I just dug us into too big a hole.”
The right-hander threw just 71 pitches, likely putting him in position to start Wednesday in Washington, allowing Collins to skip the fifth spot in the rotation until next Saturday.
“I anticipate being ready, especially given the short outing tonight,” Young said.
Josh Edgin’s big league debut was eventful. The lefty reliever entered with the bases loaded and one out in the fifth and struck out Juan Francisco and Michael Bourn consecutively to keep the Mets within a run. Then, with two outs in the sixth, Chipper Jones hit a solo homer against Edgin to put the Mets in a 6-4 hole. Edgin was charged for another run later in the inning, after Dan Uggla delivered an RBI single against Ramon Ramirez.
Jones’ homer was his 49th against the Mets, tying him with Mike Schmidt for second all-time in that category. Willie Stargell tortured the Mets for 60 career homers.
The Mets missed a huge opportunity to take the lead in the fifth, when they loaded the bases with nobody out but failed to score. Cristhian Martinez struck out Scott Hairston and Kirk Nieuwenhuis in succession before retiring Josh Thole to keep the Braves’ lead at 5-4.
Ruben Tejada’s RBI single in the fourth pulled the Mets within a run and put Tim Hudson on the ropes. All told, the Mets sent nine batters to the plate in the inning and scored four runs on five hits and a walk.
David Ross hit a three-run homer in the third to give the Braves a 5-0 lead. Ross’ homer was the third allowed by Young in his last two starts after allowing only one in his first 36 innings this season.
“It’s one of those games where you hope to get through the first couple and find it later and I just dug us into too big a hole,” Young said.
Thole was at the plate in the second inning when the ballpark went dark, suspending play while the lights rebooted. Ironically, it came on the 35th anniversary of the New York blackout that left Lenny Randle in the dark at the plate at Shea Stadium against the Cubs.Follow @NYPostsports