New York at Atlanta

N.Y. Mets
W: K. Medlen (4-7) L: S. Marcum (0-9) S: C. Kimbrel (20)
HR: NYM - None   ATL - C. Johnson (4)

Medlen, Chris Johnson lead Braves past Mets 5-3 wire reports

ATLANTA -- Kris Medlen issued a blanket apology to every coach he's ever had.

At least he could laugh about an inexplicable defensive blunder.

Medlen shook off a Little League-like mistake with seven strong innings, Chris Johnson hit a three-run homer and the Atlanta Braves bounced back from a doubleheader sweep, beating the New York Mets 5-3 Wednesday night.

Johnson went deep in the fourth for his first homer since May 13. Jordan Schafer put the Braves ahead to stay with some gutsy baserunning in the fifth, scoring on a wild pitch that didn't even roll off the dirt around home plate.

Atlanta evened the five-game series after losing twice on Tuesday.

Medlen (4-7) was still trying to figure out what he was thinking in the top half of the fifth.

With a 3-0 lead thanks to Johnson, two runners aboard and no outs, the right-hander got just what he wanted -- a grounder right back to the mound.

An easy double play, right? Not so fast.

For some reason, Medlen whirled and threw to third -- apparently thinking triple play -- but the ball skipped past the bag and rolled toward left field. Instead of getting two outs, both runners came around to score.

"It was like I blacked out, and when I woke up, the ball was in left field," Medlen said. "It's one of those plays that as you're making it, you're like, `What the hell are you doing?'"

Manager Fredi Gonzalez wondered the same thing as he watched the play unfold.

"I hope no kids were watching that," he said. "I've never seen that before. Maybe in 10-and-under baseball, but I don't think I've seen that play -- ever. Believe me, we don't practice that."

Medlen bounced back from the miscue, giving up six hits and only one earned run, while striking out seven. He didn't walk anyone and even picked up the first stolen base of his career in the sixth. He had the bag in his locker after the game, a souvenir to help him forget that other play.


"We won, so I'm happy," he said. "But it feels like we lost."

Shaun Marcum (0-9) knows that that feels like. He became just the third pitcher in Mets history to start a season dropping nine straight decisions.

"Balls are not falling his way. We haven't given him run support, either," catcher John Buck said. "It's just not going real well for him. When I'm back there, I feel like we're in control of everything. It's always just one mistake or that one inning that seems to bite him."

The Braves scored first with two outs in the fourth. B.J. Upton and Dan Uggla hit back-to-back singles, and then Marcum left a 2-0 pitch over the plate to Johnson. He drove it into the left-field seats, slapping hands emphatically with first-base coach Terry Pendleton on his way around the bases.

"It felt good. Not just the homer, but hitting it with guys on base," Johnson said. "I like to drive guys in."

Medlen gave the runs right back in the fifth. Marlon Byrd led off with a single and Lucas Duda was plunked, putting two runners aboard to set up the baffling throw to third. Kirk Nieuwenhuis followed with a bloop single just inside the right-field line to bring home Buck with the tying run.

"I deserved that," Medlen said.

The Braves quickly reclaimed the lead in the bottom half of the inning.

Schafer led off with a double and advanced on Andrelton Simmons' sacrifice before Freddie Freeman walked. It looked as if Marcum might escape the jam when he struck out Justin Upton. But a pitch to Brian McCann bounced off Buck's chest protector, rolling off to the catcher's right.

Schafer was nearly halfway down the line already -- the Mets shifted their defense against McCann, leaving only third baseman David Wright on the left side of the infield -- and the runner broke for home as soon as he saw the ball get away. Even though it rolled only to the edge of the grass and Buck made a quick flip to Marcum covering home, Schafer slid headfirst under the tag.

"Great instincts," Gonzalez said.

B.J. Upton followed with an RBI double that gave the Braves a two-run cushion, finishing off Marcum. He surrendered six hits and walked four in 4 2-3 innings.

Medlen pitched into the eighth, coming out after giving up a bloop single to pinch hitter Josh Satin leading off the inning. Luis Avilan got Mets newcomer Eric Young Jr. to hit into a double play, and Craig Kimbrel struck out two in a perfect ninth for his 20th save in 23 chances.

Marcum's start is the worst for a Mets pitcher since Anthony Young lost his first 13 decisions in 1993 on the way to a 1-16 record. The only other pitcher in New York history to begin a season with as many as nine consecutive losses was Bob Miller, who started 0-12 in 1962 before winning his final decision with the woeful expansion Mets.

"It's been a three-month ordeal for me," Marcum said.


  • Young started in center field and led off for the Mets, less than 24 hours after being acquired from the Colorado Rockies. He singled on the second pitch of the game and finished 1 for 4.
  • B.J. Upton had two hits and a walk.
  • The Mets placed RHP Scott Atchison back on the disabled list after he injured his right groin while warming up for an appearance Tuesday night. He had just come off the DL for an ailing elbow, but didn't even make an actual pitch before getting hurt again.
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Braves closer Craig Kimbrel strikes out two in a perfect ninth for his 20th save in 23 chances. (USATSI)
Braves closer Craig Kimbrel strikes out two in a perfect ninth for his 20th save in 23 chances. (USATSI)

Players of the Game

C. Johnson
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1

K. Medlen
IP 7.0
H 6
ER 1
BB 0
K 7

Related Video

New York (N.L.) Mets
Eric Young Jr., CF4010011 .243
Daniel Murphy, 2B4000001 .275
David Wright, 3B4010011 .296
Marlon Byrd, RF4110031 .264
Lucas Duda, 1B3110010 .240
John Buck, C3100021 .223
Kirk Nieuwenhuis, LF3011001 .132
Omar Quintanilla, SS3000002 .239
Shaun Marcum, P2000010 .158
    Josh Satin, PH1010000 .286
a-singled for Torres in the 8th
2B - David Wright (13, Medlen)
RBI - Kirk Nieuwenhuis (5)
Team LOB - 2
New York (N.L.) Mets
Shaun Marcum (L,0-9) 4.2655461 5.76
Carlos Torres 2.1000140 0.00
David Aardsma 0.2100010 1.35
Scott Rice 0.1000100 4.91
WP - Shaun Marcum (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Shaun Marcum 96-55, Carlos Torres 31-22, David Aardsma 8-5, Scott Rice 7-2
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Shaun Marcum 5-3, Carlos Torres 2-1, Scott Rice 1-0
Batters Faced - Shaun Marcum 24, Carlos Torres 8, David Aardsma 3, Scott Rice 2
Atlanta Braves
Jordan Schafer, RF4110011 .305
    Reed Johnson, PH1000002 .239
Andrelton Simmons, SS3010011 .247
Freddie Freeman, 1B2100211 .317
Justin Upton, LF4000023 .239
Brian McCann, C3000110 .243
B.J. Upton, CF3121100 .173
Dan Uggla, 2B4110033 .194
Chris Johnson, 3B4123011 .319
Kris Medlen, P2000110 .120
a-hit into fielder's choice for Schafer in the 8th
b-walked for Avilan in the 8th
2B - Jordan Schafer (4, Marcum), B.J. Upton (7, Marcum)
HR - Chris Johnson (4, Marcum)
SH - Andrelton Simmons (3)
RBI - B.J. Upton (17), Chris Johnson 3 (20)
2-OUT RBI - B.J. Upton (4), Chris Johnson 3 (12)
SB - Kris Medlen (1, 2nd base off Torres/Buck)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Simmons-Uggla-Freeman, Simmons-Uggla-Freeman-Uggla-Simmons-Freeman, Simmons-Uggla-Freeman-Uggla-Simmons-Freeman-Uggla-Simmons-Freeman
E - Kris Medlen (1, Throwing)
Atlanta Braves
Craig Kimbrel (S,20) 1000020 1.65
Kris Medlen (W,4-7) 7631070 2.96
Luis Avilan (H,11) 1000000 1.91
HBP - Duda (by Kris Medlen)
Pitches-Strikes - Kris Medlen 105-65, Luis Avilan 12-7, Craig Kimbrel 12-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kris Medlen 8-5, Luis Avilan 2-0
Batters Faced - Kris Medlen 27, Luis Avilan 2, Craig Kimbrel 3
Game Information
Attendance - 21852
Game Time - 3:00
Temperature - 80
Umpires - Home - David Rackley, First Base - Jeff Kellogg, Second Base - Eric Cooper, Third Base - Paul Schrieber