The New York Mets were defeated by the Atlanta Braves in a 4-0 shutout Saturday evening. The loss puts the Mets 5 games behind first place in the National League East. They have now lost 6 of their last 9 games, and three straight at home. Luckily, the All Star Break is right around the corner.

AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek

Initial Reaction:

Mike Pelfrey faced off against Tim Hudson in the middle game of a three-game set. Pelf got in and out of trouble through four innings, but the fifth inning was too much, as he gave up five straight hits, that would result in scoring the only four runs of the game. Hudson continued his comeback season, blanking the Mets in seven innings, and then the bullpen finished the job for the second night in a row.

The offense remains idle as the Mets recorded only four hits tonight. They continue to struggle against their division, now 18-20 on the season, which isn’t going to help them make the playoffs. Ike Davis, Jason Bay, and Jeff Francouer are all in slumps, and they have picked the wrong time to fail at the plate.

Positives From The Game:

Angel In The Outfield: Angel Pagan is the only Mets player that has avoided a slump all season. Today he went 3 for 4, including a double (the Mets only extra-base hit) and two stolen bases. In the last week, Pagan hit two homeruns, along with five multi-hit games, and stole four bases. This guy does it all. One of the biggest snubs for the All-Star Team…

Bullpen: The Mets relievers haven’t allowed a run in four straight games. Tonight they had to bail out Pelfrey early. Elmer Dessens followed by Hisanori Takahashi and Fernando Nieve combined for five scoreless innings of relief.

Negatives From The Game:

Pelf Not So Big: Mike Pelfrey had a third consecutive meltdown tonight. He couldn’t make it past the fourth inning tonight, allowing four runs on twelve hits while walking three. Geez…that calculates for a horrible WHIP. Since recording his tenth win of the season, Pelfrey has allowed 15 runs in his last three games, and has been unable to pitch at least five innings. The break will give him some time to think or maybe relax, hopefully.

Mets Offense…Again: The middle of the lineup (3-4-5-6) combined to go 0 for 12. Oh yeah, and 12 men were left on base. I think that says it all.

Interesting Facts:

3: Runs the Mets have scored during their three-game losing streak.

7: Hits Angel Pagan has during the Mets losing streak.

10: Mike Pelfrey has been stuck on ten wins since June 25th.

What’s Next?: The Mets will look to salvage the series with a win against the Atlanta Braves tomorrow afternoon at CitiField. Game Time 1:10 on WPIX/TBS.

NYM Johan Santana (6-5) 3.15 ERA vs. ATL Derek Lowe (9-7) 4.40 ERA

With Carlos Beltran returning after the All Star Break, would you include Angel Pagan in a trade for a front-of-the-line starter?